The charge could never be levelled at King David — the writer of Psalm 3 — of abandoning the genuineness of the challenges of life:
‘O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God.’ (v1)
Sometimes life on this lonely planet sucks! Here in Psalm 3 we encounter that same reality. Yet this is a million miles away from a pity-me party. In verses 1 and 2 King David is setting out how others view his life. Other people’s opinions of us can so often feel like iron fingers, squeezing around the throat of faith, suffocating the very life out of us. We all know what I’m talking about, don’t we? The boss who says ‘You’ll never succeed.’ The dad who says ‘That’s way too big a dream for someone like you.’ The unhelpful friend who likes to point out, after hearing you pray for personal healing, ‘That illness doesn’t seem to be getting better; clearly your prayers aren’t working.’ And so the steely fingers of other people’s opinions squeeze that little bit tighter.
If, like me, you struggle with this, let Psalm 3 teach and instruct you. We need to press on. We need to make it past verse 2 and into verse 3. Here David paints another, deeper and more complete reality. Yes, there are enemies lining up to take him out, but there is also his God, who is a shield, his glory, the one who lifts him out of despondency, the one who answers his cries for help, his life giver and sustainer. What a different picture!
So how do we press on past the suffocating effects of verse 2? Like David, we need to learn how to remind ourselves of the true nature of our God. We need to learn how to wrestle our attention away from those clamouring for our downfall and look to the one who has promised to be our saviour.
Why don’t you make Psalm 3 the place you come back to again and again today, and allow King David to help you realign your heart with the more complete picture of the world around you?
‘Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessings be on your people!’ (v8)