"The Salvation of Yahweh"
Good Morning, grab your Bibles and turn with me to Psalm Chapter 3. The Title of our message today is, “The Salvation of Yahweh.” Today we are going to look at how the Lord Cares For His People” He does this by delivering us or saving us from the enemy.
Psalm 3 begins the Davidic Psalms and this group of Psalms 3-41 are known as prayers for help, or a lament psalm. Notice here that this psalm is attributed to David as he flees Jerusalem and more specifically flees from Absalom his son. So, this first book of Psalms would have been known as a book of prayers for God’s help. This is exactly what we see in Psalm chapter 3. David desperately needs the Lord’s help. But why did David need God’s help here? What is going on behind the scenes? King David had some family problems. We know from 2 Samuel chapter 11 David commits adultery with Bathsheba and then murders her husband in order to try and cover up his sin. This is a very wicked act and David is disciplined for it. You may say well how exactly was David disciplined by the Lord? Nathan the prophet confronts David and tells him this news.
10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.
But, David seeks God’s forgiveness and repents of his sin. And God does forgive David, none the less David is disciplined. We then come to 2 Samuel chapter 13 where we learn about the rape of David’s daughter and the murder of one of his son’s by Absalom. And in 2 Samuel chapters 15-18 we read about the conspiracy of David’s son Absalom to take over the kingship. In fact, Absalom leads a successful coup against David and is seeking to take David’s life. So, David flees Jerusalem weeping and barefoot. On his way out he is also ridiculed by a man named Shimei. All of this shows us that David is dealing with one of the most difficult times of crisis in his life. He desperately calls out to the Lord to save him. You may find yourself there today or know someone who is going through this time of crisis and you can help them run to this Psalm of David and find encouragement.
One interesting point that I want to mention is that Psalm 3 and 4 may be read together. Psalm 3 would have been a morning Psalm while Psalm 4 was an evening Psalm. The point is that God’s protection and goodness are available anytime wether that be in the morning or evening. There are 3 Major things I want you to see today from our text. Point number one is this.
1. Give your Complaints to the Lord.
1. Give your Complaints to the Lord.
1 O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; 2 many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah
How often when we find ourselves in trouble or going through a difficult time do we begin to complain about our situation? I know this has happened to me many times. As we come to verse 1 here we understand from 2 Samuel that David the King of Israel is faced with many enemies including family and friends. David is running for his life and as he does so he takes a moment to turn towards God and pour out his heart in prayer. In verse 1 we see that David invokes the name of the Lord by using the personal covenantal name (Yahweh) So, David is crying out to the Lord, and in his cry we see 3 things that stand out to us.
A. First of all notice how the psalmist names who the many are. Three different times in verses one and two David addresses the fact that these many are his foes or his enemies. The enemies seem to be increasing by the moment. How many times in our own lives does the enemy seem to be overwhelming? This is what David was experiencing.
B. The second thing we notice here is that the psalmist describes what they are doing. His enemies are rising against him. David feels attacked on every side of him. There is no way to escape. Everywhere he looks he sees the enemy. Many times this is how we feel.
C. The third and final thing we notice here is that the psalmist reports what his enemies are saying. David is telling the Lord about his trouble. This is the issue at hand! David is telling God that the enemies are mocking. It seems as if there is no deliverance from the Lord. The enemies believe that God cannot help David from his troubles. They believe that either God lacks the power to do so, or will just not do it. But David knows that the Lord does care about his problems, and so he brings his trials too Him. Despite David’s family problems and David’s sin, he was still God’s anointed King. God had set King David on His holy mountain, on Zion. We see this from Psalm chapter 2. God is sovereign over this whole situation and does have a plan for David’s life.
6 “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
As we think about what happened to King David we understand that treachery can happen in life. People who we think are our friends can betray us. We may need to check our hearts and see if we have done something wrong, and then we give our problems to God and confess any wrong doing if on our part.
Notice that verse 2 ends with this word “Selah.” What does this word mean and why is it here or added on? We also notice that it is used in verse 4 and 8 and continually throughout the book of Psalm. It’s meaning is not totally clear. It may have been used as a musical interlude or a marker. The main idea is that we stop to reflect and consider what we just read or sang.
2. Confess your Trust to the Lord.
2. Confess your Trust to the Lord.
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. 4 I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah 5 I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. 6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
As we come to verse 3 we see a major change. Notice how the psalmist says, “But You, O Yahweh.” David takes his eyes off his enemies and begins to focus on the Lord. David remembered who God is and what He has done and confesses his trust in Yahweh. David’s enemies may think there is no help coming from God, but David knows the faithfulness of God. The psalmist here in verse 3 follows up this word “trust’ with 3 titles for the Lord. Notice here what the author is saying about his trust in the Lord.
A. The first title describes God as a shield about me. This is found in verse 3. The shield was a common metaphor implying God’s protection. David may have remember how God was a shield for him when he was a young boy standing against Goliath in battle. What is significant here is that as a shield only protects in one direction, God is seen as a shield that protects all around and in every direction. This type of language of a shield and protector is used throughout the Psalms.
10 My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.
114 You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.
Church, what a blessing it is to know that God is even today our shield and protector. Paul tells us in Ephesians chapter 6 that we can take up the shield of faith with which we can extinguish the flaming darts of the evil one. So, the Lord here is David’s Shield and ours as well.
B. The second title used to describe the Lord here is that God is his glory. Any praise and honor that David has, comes from the Lord. David realizes that he does not deserve any kind of praise or honor, but only the Lord does. It is important even today that we take time to praise God and honor Him with our words and deeds.
C. The third title is that the psalmist sees God as the one lifting his head. This is a metaphor for honor and restoration of health and status. David was downcast and even depressed knowing that his enemies were coming against him. David fled Jerusalem with his head down.
30 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.
Apart from his God, David did not have anything going for him. But with God, David was able to be eventually restored. God was the one who was directing his path and lifting his head. The wonderful encouragement here church is that David tells us in verse 4 God did answer him. As David wept aloud and sought God out, God did hear his prayers and answered him. I want you to know that if you are earnestly and sincerely seeking God like David did the Lord will hear your prayers too. What this means is that our requests or prayers are not to be rooted out of selfishness or sinful desires but sincere and genuine.
Notice here in verse 5 that as the Lord answered David and he was able to rest even though David’s enemies were all around him. Nothing needs to keep us awake at night, because we should realize that God does not sleep. When our trust is in God we know that He can keep watch over us and the problems we face. As David awakes he knows that the Lord as sustained him. Verse 7 tells us that David is no longer afraid. God has kept David safe through the night. God protected and provided for David even though David has thousands of enemies against him. God too will keep you safe through the day and through the night. It is important to remember that God sustains His people.
3. Give your Petitions to the Lord.
3. Give your Petitions to the Lord.
7 Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. 8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah
Please here me today church, we must take time to seek the Lord through prayer and we must continue to lift up our petitions to God without ceasing. So often, it is easy to stop praying or seeking God when we feel that our prayers are not being answered, so continue to seek the Lord. We now see in verse 7 David’s actual petition. Throughout the Psalms and particularly in the lament Psalms we see a prayer for God to arise and a prayer for God to deliver. David in verse 7 asks of the Lord to arise. This means that David desires for God to come to the aid of him and his people in power and glory. David is praying that God would prove his enemies wrong. Notice David’s words here, “Save me, O my God.” David is confident in the Lord’s Salvation.
David now gets really specific in his prayers. The striking of the enemies on the cheek or jaw is an expression of total and utter humiliation. The metaphor of breaking the teeth of the wicked is likened to animals whose strength is taken away when their teeth are crushed. We see this same language in chapter 58.
6 O God, break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
These sayings here that the Psalmist is asking from the Lord may seem harsh, but David desired for the Lord to be victorious. There were many who had arisen to come against King David and even taunting him, but victory belonged to the Lord.
David’s prayer here reveals that God’s blessing would not just be upon himself, but that God’s blessing would be upon His people. The spirit of David shows us his concern for the welfare of his people. David looked forward to the time of full blessing. In David’s hope lies our hope too. For in Christ Jesus our Lord we too can experience Salvation. We too can look forward to God’s victory and blessings that he assures us of.
Conclusion: What we have seen here from Psalm chapter 3 is a strong assurance to those who feel surrounded by troubles and overwhelmed with worries. This psalm leads us to a confidence that is born out of a situation of trust in God when we too feel overwhelmed. Though we will deal with trouble and difficulty in this life, God’s protection is a shield around us. Though we will deal with various types of enemies God goes to battle for us and defeats all the fear we may deal with. When you are dealing with fear and many enemies we too like David can find strength in the Lord because He is our Deliverer and our Salvation My prayer for us today as believers is that we would lean unto the Lord and grow in our faith.
(Prayer and Lead into Communion)