PSALM 3 - Is There No Help for Me in God?
1. A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
LORD, how are they increased that trouble me!
many [are] they that rise up against me.
2 Many [there be] which say of my soul,
[There is] no help for him in God. Selah.
David composed this Psalm in a time of crisis. (See 2Sam 15:1- 18:33)
Absalom, King David's third son (2Sam 3:3), turned against his father, and by using subtlety over many years, had won the allegiance of a majority of Israelites. He also persuaded Ahithophel, David's trusted counsellor, to join his cause (2Sam 15:12). When Absalom took action to claim the kingdom for himself, David chose to flee rather than to fight.
LORD, how are they increased that trouble me...
...many... that rise up against me... which say, There is no help for him in God.
The account in 2Samuel, names several of David's close associates that turned against him.
  • Absalom, his own son.
  • Ahithophel, his trusted counsellor,
  • The lame son of David's friend Jonathan, Mephibosheth, to whom David had shown great kindness. Jonathan's servant, Ziba, reported (falsely) that Mephibosheth had aligned with the opposition for personal advantage. (This report would have been very hurtful and discouraging to David. 2Sam 16:1-4)
  • Shimei, a relative of the former king, Saul, added insult by cursing David and casting gravel toward him (2Sam 16:5-8). In response to this behavior, David refused harsh action, and humbly accepted humiliation (2Sam 16:9-12). In effect, David acknowledged his sinful failures, while awaiting the sentence of the righteous Judge.
David departed from Jerusalem, as a rejected king. In this, David's experience foreshadowed the nation's rejection (a thousand years later) of God's Anointed King, the Messiah, who also departed from Jerusalem via the Mt. of Olives, and who also committed the resolution of the matter to the LORD (see Psalm 2).
     Those, who rose up against Jesus, mocked Him in a similar manner. Psa 22:6-8; Mat 27:43
Selah.- Pause and consider...
Perhaps you can see yourself in these first two verses... in over your head with troubles... surrounded by enemies... with no help for you, from God or anyone else... but especially, not from God, because you know you are unworthy.
     See how David's hopelessness begins to lift with the next word...
3 But thou, O LORD, [art] a shield for me;
my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
But thou...-
When the LORD intervenes, the power of every enemy is broken. Psa 27:1-3
...thou, O LORD art...
  • a shield for me - This word for 'shield' refers to a small handheld shield or buckler.
    God Himself will protect His own from the enemy's darts, which strike Him rather than me. But a shield is a movable barrier which must be placed properly to be effective. Eph 6:16 refers to "the shield of faith." The LORD is a shield for those who trust in Him (Prov 30:5).
  • my glory {ie., honor, exaltation} -
    Though shamed and rejected by his enemies, David trusted that God would vindicate him, in due time. From all appearances his name and reign were in ruins, but the dark day would pass, and the LORD would bring him into a new day of beauty. Psa 4:3; 62:7
  • the lifter up of mine head -
    David's head was bowed in humiliation, but he was sure that God would give him victory, and overturn his temporary defeat. Psa 27:6
Why was David so confident that there would be a positive outcome? He tells us...
4. I cried unto the LORD with my voice,
and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
I cried... He heard me...
The 'holy hill' refers, not only to Jerusalem and the Temple mount, but also to the heavenly Zion, from where God exercises dominion over all things. His authority and power is 'holy' (set apart, unmatched, in a category above all others).
     Are you discouraged, thinking that God does not hear your prayer? That is the voice of the enemy saying "There is no help for him in God."
But what does God say? See Psa 34:4,6; Jer 29:12,13; Mat 7:7; 11:28; Joh 6:37; 1Joh 5:14,15
Selah.- Pause and be assured that the Lord hears and answers prayer.
5 I laid me down and slept;
I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people,
that have set [themselves] against me round about.
David testified of certain immediate answers to his prayer...
  • Peace - He slept, without tossing and turning due to fear and worry.
    Though enemies sought to slay him as he slept, he awoke because the LORD kept him through the night. Psa 4:8
  • Confidence - though beset by a multitude of enemies. Psa 27:3; Rom 8:31
7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God:
for thou hast smitten all mine enemies [upon] the cheek bone;
thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation [belongeth] unto the LORD:
thy blessing [is] upon thy people. Selah.
Arise... save me... thou hast smitten all mine enemies...
David confessed his inability to save himself. If he was to be saved, God must defeat his enemies. Trusting in God alone, David expressed confidence that He had already done so.
     Likewise, our enemies are too strong for us, we cannot save ourselves from...
  • the penalty of sin - ie., death and hell - Rom 6:23
  • the power of sin - ie., ungodly habits, lusts... - Rom 7:19-25
  • the presence of sin - We live in an ungodly world. We dwell in fleshly bodies, with a fleshly nature which wars against the Spirit of God. Rom 8:5-9; Gal 1:4; 1Joh 2:16,17
  • the problems of life - Many of David's troubles, including Absalom's rebellion, were the consequences of his own sinfulness. Like David, we are unable to untangle the confused mess we make of our lives and families. But God can. Psa 23:3; 103:3; 107:20; 1Pet 2:24,25
Salvation belongeth unto the LORD...
Only He can deliver us from our sinful selves.
The references, at the above points, show both the depth of our fallen condition, and the sufficiency of the Lord's power to save.
...thy blessing is upon thy people.
Salvation belongs to the Lord, but only those who belong to Him realize the blessing of His salvation. Through faith in Christ, God's people...
  • have been set free from sin's penalty,
  • are being set free from the power of sin,
  • will be set free from the presence of sin (and all the sorrows sin produces, Rev 21:4).
Selah.- Pause and consider: Do you know the blessing of God's Salvation?
There is help for you in God.
Call upon Him, today, confessing your sin, your inability to save yourself, and your need for the Savior. Rom 10:13

This Concludes the study in Psalm 3.
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