Contentment Amidst the Chaos

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Some things you need to know
I’m a nerd…a word-nerd if I get nerdy, deal with it
Sometimes I check with pastor to see if there’s something that needs to be addressed but would take too much heat for…I didn’t do this
If I step on you toes, Pastor Scott is NOT GUILTY
This message is meant to be encouraging, not at all accusatory, so dig in and be encouraged


Shows up 3 times in this very short Psalm
Title is my preferred understanding of a word that defies definition
The lexicons aren’t any real help
If the footnotes in the ESV are correct
“It may be a musical or liturgical direction”
We may think of it as a long, rest in the musical score; time to let the thought digest awhile
“Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee; selah!”
We have a Psalm broken down into segments, each ending with this interjection
A nerdy note:
English Standard Version (Psalm 3)
Save Me, O My God
The first line is a hint by the translators to help us find what we’re looking for
“Save me, O my God!” is but one line of one verse (v.7); there is much more in this short Psalm
However, they may alter our perception so that it’s all that we see (cautionary note)
The first line of the verse is taken as part of the inspired text it helps us understand the...

Historical Context

One of about a dozen Psalms with the specific link to David’s life
Getting this right helps with accurate hermeneutics—proper interpretation
Bad interpretation can lead to bad doctrine/theology
This Psalm references a bad period in David’s life, chapters 13-19 of 2nd Samuel
It had started with the rape of Tamar by her half-brother Amnon—that whole mess was not dealt with by David;
Absolom, Tamar’s full brother, murdered Amnon in retaliation,, he fled
Then David allowed Absolom back into his good-graces
From this position he had mounted his conspiracy and usurped the throne

David’s Situation

His son, Absolom, had mounted a conspiracy against his father, had himself declared king
This was a process that was four years in the making
Absolom had been very cagey about it, and his father seems to have ignored what he was doing
Finally, David received the message
“The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absolom”
He began the process of flight; it wasn’t a happy procession
2 Samuel 15:30 ESV
But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, weeping as they went.
From being the king who had united all of Israel, David is now an exile
The last words of v. 2 expresses the sentiment of the masses who had once been his loyal followers

There is no salvation for him in God

Let’s pause and ponder that a bit
Can we say that David had fallen down on the job?
Yeah…his lack of parental oversight had allowed Absolom to grow into the usurper that he had become
Despite that, David had been an impressive king, though anointed as King by Samuel, at God’s command many years earlier, he had waited until Saul had died and the people made him their king, he brought the kingdom to unity security and prosperity
Now, fleeing for his life
Did David deserve that?

David’s Solace

The Psalm continues in v. 3,
He calls God a shield, his glory, and the lifter of his head
Again, we pause and ponder
We don’t have recorded what or how David prayed
But he knew, and knew well, the attributes of his God, how those attributes related to his safety and security
Psalm 18:1–3 ESV
I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

David’s Sustainer

He understood that His God watched over him even as he slept
He was able to rest without fear
In the words of an unknown psalmist
Psalm 121:5–7 ESV
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
This flows right into...

David’s Salvation

He gets pretty specific here; almost pleading: arise…! Save me…!
…then describes what God has done/will do
Then the wonderful declaration

Salvation belongs to the LORD;

your blessing be on your people!

Salvation in the physical sense: a means of preserving from harm or unpleasantness.
…in the spiritual sense: the act of delivering from sin or saving from evil
…as a state of being: the state of being saved or preserved from harm
Interestingly, the underlying Hebrew word is y-shu-ah
Almost indistinguishable from Yeshua, Joshua, which into the Greek of the NT, becomes Iesus, Jesus
This salvation belongs to the LORD—Jahweh..Jehovah God
Blessing: harmonious relations and freedom from disputes (Lexham Research Lexicon)
Let’s pause and ponder that a bit
David saw that the salvation would come from God, how, when, and as God chose to grant it
The blessing becomes a component of the salvation

Making it Personal

Since we’ve looked at some of the background that went into this Psalm
We first note that there was a usurper—in this case, Absolom—a murderer mounting a campaign of lies and mayhem in an attempt to take over the throne of his father—the righteous king
There is a master usurper—Satan himself
An angel who wished to be like the Most High God—he was cast out of his place
He still attempts to remove the King—Jesus—from His rightful place
He is a lot like Absolom (who was his tool), and was the active force behind Absalom's rebellion
As he used lust, hatred, murder, deceit and other evils to start the process to ruin David’s reign and ultimately kill him
Think—no David, no Son of David…no Jesus
But, David kept his eyes on the LORD
He knew his solace, his sustainer, his salvation

Can You Relate?

Not many of us will find ourselves fleeing for our lives…or will we?
I doubt the Ukrainian folks thought it was going to happen; but it did
Not quite the same; close enough
Yet, we hear testimonies of God providing relief for so many of them
Closer to home though…not as likely for us
What are our real threats? Illness, finances, jobs, relationships…sometimes they may push us to the point of hopelessness
In a sub plot in the Absolom saga, one player went home and hanged himself
David never lost hope
He turned to God
In the follow-up to Ps. 3, David reflects
Psalm 4:7–8 ESV
You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Can you, in your circumstances today say that?
If not, I suggest that you’ve never put your trust in the one in whom David trusted
Pause and ponder that a minute
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