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Read Psalm 3

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.

Lord, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him.”

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
    Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
    break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
    May your blessing be on your people.

Go Deeper

In Psalm 3 we see a transformation take place. David begins by explaining his current circumstances: he has many foes, many are rising up against him, and many are saying that God will not deliver him. From the outside looking in, David has every reason to be terrified—he is totally alone, with no ally in sight, enemies surrounding and encroaching in from all directions. But then something happens. He remembers who he’s talking to. David says “but You… are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” After remembering who God is and setting his mind on truth, David’s perspective changes. He declares that he will not fear no matter how many thousands go against him. David’s circumstances didn’t necessarily change, but his mindset did. The transformation wasn’t external, but internal.

The process we see David go through in this Psalm is something we see taught and modeled throughout the Bible. Scripture encourages us often to take every thought captive and to think on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. We’re directed to set our minds on things above. Focusing on truth allows us to view our circumstances here on earth with a Christ-centered perspective. When we do that, while our circumstances may not change, our attitude about them does. 

Maybe we need to take a lesson here from David. What are your foes? Who is rising up against you today? What situation are you in that seems downright impossible? Take it to God. Give your circumstances proper perspective, frame them in the lens of truth, and allow God to remind you of who He is and what He can do. Your situation may not change overnight, but perhaps you’ll be changed in the process. 

Questions

  1. Do you struggle to take your thoughts captive? What does that even mean?
  2. What is a circumstance facing you that seems impossible to you right now?
  3. What is a promise in Scripture about God that can reframe your perspective on that situation?

Did You Know?

The phrase “Arise, O LORD” recalls the words of Moses when he used this phrase as Israel broke ground in the wilderness (Numbers 10:35). Arise, O LORD is a military phrase, calling on God to both defend Israel and lead them to victory.

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2 thoughts on “Psalm 3”

  1. I cannot imagine the heartache of being at odds with one of my children so much so that I fear & flee for my life. That’s right where we find David in Psalm 3. His problem is urgent, yet he chooses to trust in the God of his forefathers appealing to him for help. As he is running away physically, he runs straight to the arms of his Father who is a shield, his glory, lifter of his head, & sustainer. No matter what struggle we are in the midst of today, let’s confidently remember that salvation belongs to our God alone. “When all around my soul gives way, he then is all my hope and stay. On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand.”

  2. I love the example David gives us here of what it looks like to both be honest with ourselves and with the Lord AND setting our mind on truth that changes our perspective. I think both are important. I tend to lean one way or the other – all truth or all feelings, but here (and in several other psalms) David doesn’t discount his feelings, but speaks truth to his feelings and that comforts him as he rests in who God is. What a great example of how to engage with our feelings in a way that honors God.

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