It’s the same story for us all. The candle burns strongly, but the candle burns fast.”
–Ernest Haycox (Free Grass)
“You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.”
–James 4:4 (HCSB)
Have you ever felt as if the world is against you? Everywhere you turn there is another person wanting and ready to take you down. Even members of your own family conspire against you and there seems there is no way out; no way to be safe. David wrote Psalm 3 when he was in this situation. He was fleeing for his life from his son Absalom. It’s hard to fathom how greed, fame, or lust for power can bring a son to seek to destroy his own father. David had but one recourse, the Lord.
“LORD, how my foes increase! There are many who attack me.
Many say about me, ‘There is no help for him in God.’ Selah.” (3:1-2, HCSB)
Imagine the wound to David’s heart. Imagine all of the ramifications of his son rebelling and David’s emotions. There would not be a quick cure to this; deep wounds normally require a long period of healing.
There were even some who ridicule him saying that even God would not help him.
This is where we see the faith of David. He would not let the mockers scorn the power of God. I like what George O. Wood said of David during this time, “He whistles his faith while walking through the dark forest of the soul where unseen monsters lurk.” David was bold enough, and believed God’s truth enough to walk even when it went contrary to his feelings.
“But You, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts up my head.
I cry aloud to the LORD and He answers me from His holy mountain.” (3:3-4, HCSB–see Psalm 121)
David understood that there is always protection around God’s people. Scorners and persecutors may arise, but God places a shield about them. Ask yourself, what is the purpose of a shield? A shield is for protection. A shield wards off the fiery darts of the enemy, and in some cases God, Himself places the shield. Mockery is not uncommon to the people of God. More and more we see mockers and scorners of the Holy One. How long does God allow the mocking to continue?
In times when we feel all is against us; in times when even members of our family turn against us, we still have our heavenly Father who cares for us. Luther wrote, “Though David had many enemies, the Lord was his shield. Though his enemies were putting him to shame, the Lord was his glory. And though they had publicly humiliated him, the Lord lifted his head high.”
“I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the LORD sustains me.
I am not afraid of the thousands of people who have taken their stand against me on every side.
Rise up, LORD! Save me, my God! You strike all my enemies on the cheek; You break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the LORD; may Your blessing be on Your people. Selah.” (3:5-8, HCSB)
David understood that God was with him, and that God would take up the fight. Because of the Lord’s protection David was able to sleep at night knowing he was secure in God’s hands. Another version of verse 7 states, “…Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked!” (NLT) Friend, in the midst of the turmoil in your life, when things seem to be going all wrong, remember that the Lord is there to protect you and let you have peace in your soul.
“I cried and from his holy hill
He bowed a listening ear.
I called my Father and my God
And he subdued my fear.”