Psalm 3



This is another Psalm of David who now pours out his heart and feelings to the Lord when he fled from the fury of his son Absalom (cf. 2 Samuel 15:14). In this chapter of Samuel we read of the sad story of family disunity and the resulting rebelliousness seen in David’s son Absalom and David’s resulting flight to safety with some close friends. (In all things then, we tend to reap what we sow with the tongue or actions. Others can become jealous or envious, they covet our spiritual or physical gifts given to us by God. People that go beyond their calling internally and externally within the Church have ambitions and desires that end up causing problems, like party spirit etc).

Biblical stories are there for a reason, they are therefore written to comfort, to educate, to teach the very life lessons that we are to learn from and to use to show others that there is nothing new under the sun (cf. Ecclesiastes 1:9). Many expositors have entitled this Psalm – ‘The Morning Hymn’ for although we read of how David puts forward his complaints before the Lord in verses 1-2, he then puts his confidence in the Lord in verses 3-4. Here is the way of David, he sings of safety in sleep in verses 5-6 and finally strengthens himself in God for future conflict, verses 7-8.

There are two other very important verses we can use to illustrate and illuminate biblical truth and wisdom from on high. This is the exegetical art of searching out, to contrast and compare verses or passages with one another.

1. Romans 15:4 – For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience/perseverance and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

We are then to read and learn and to place our sure hope in God.

2. 1 Corinthians 10:11 – Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

It is interesting to note that biblical names have a meaning which add to the story and so the name David means beloved (he was certainly beloved of God) and the name Absalom means, father of peace (and yet he wanted to usurp the throne from his father). It was then a report given to David that the hearts of many in Israel were turning to Absalom. This is the same sort of thing seen then in Acts chapter 20 verse 30 – ‘also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw the disciples away after themselves.’ 


In using typology we can see right away that David was a type of our blessed Lord Jesus. Both were loved by God and chosen to lead the people of God, to bring revival and restoration and in our Lord Jesus we also see regeneration and renewal after repentance.

David then crossed the brook Kidron with a few of his most trusted followers and in so doing was a type of the Lord Jesus as he also fled across the brook Kidron with a feeble band of followers when His people rebelled against Him (cf. John 18:1). Our Lord drank from the brook Kidron (which means an obscure place) on His way to the garden of Gethsemane (an olive press). So we can see that before the mental anguish in the Garden and the physical torment on the Cross of Golgotha (place of a skull) our Lord refreshed Himself from the waters, just as we are to do in the Holy Spirit and the living Word both seen as a type of water, pure and clean, refreshing and replenishing.

Body of Teaching:

David at Mahanaim – a place of ‘two armies.’

Before giving exposition let us see an outline for this short Psalm of eight verses. We can divide Psalm 3 into three parts.

1. DAVID’S TRIAL – verses 1-2.

a) The Multiplicity of His Foes – verse 1.

Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me.

I am reminded here of how the apostle Paul wrote that through many tribulations we must enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This world is not our home, we are simply passing through! Just as evil must increase until the end so our enemies will increase!

b) The Malignity of His Foes – verse 2.

Many are they who say of me. “There is no help for him in God.” Selah.

The word Selah means to pause, to reflect or to meditate. We will face many in this world who will oppose or malign us, because of our trust in God but they just do not understand the power and promises of God towards us and against our and His enemies. We are in covenant relationship with God. We always win at the end of the day, for the Day of the Lord is coming when all wrongs will be put right.

2. DAVID’S TRUST – verses 3-4.

But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.

I love the buts of the Bible for they totally change the scenario and show how God is in total charge and control. David simply shows his trust and confidence is in the Lord his God and King.

I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from his holy hill. Selah. 

When we cry out the Lord on high is attentive to the cries of His people just as in Egypt long ago! We will always be delivered or given a way out of every predicament we find ourselves in. (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13. This verse contains this very promise from the Lord towards us through the pen of Paul).

We must learn to be still and know that He is God – Selah.

3. DAVID’S TRIUMPH – verses 5-8.

I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.

Sleep is good for us after any trial or testing of life. It does no good to worry and lose sleep and yet so many do! Here then is the lesson we are to impart to ourselves, it is a spiritual life application principle. The Lord sustains – end of discussion, so why do we worry! Because it is a human trait of ours that is so hard to get rid of, some just like to worry! Others are simply trying to work out things for themselves but we are to put our trust in God and not lean on our own understanding, just as it is written.

I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.

Here we see that when we do put our trust in God then it doesn’t matter how many are in opposition towards us – one or thousands make no difference to God.

Arise, O Lord; Save me, O my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.

Here is David’s petition, arise O Lord and save me which is both spiritually and physically inferred as we shall see in the next and last verse.

Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon your people. Selah.

Here is David’s statement of assurance and trust. Salvation does indeed belong to God and we shall sing this in Heaven and have already started to do so on this earth! Singing blesses God and us! Singing is a way of expressing our love towards God, it shows our confidence in Him and also acknowledges His complete sovereignty in our lives. Singing makes us feel happy and blessed and I’m sure as David wrote of God’s blessing being over His people he was thinking of the Aaronic Blessing written in Numbers 6:24-26.

The Lord bless thee and keep thee;
The Lord make His face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee;
The Lord lift us His countenance towards thee and give you His peace.

Concluding remarks:

There is a threefold blessing given to suffering saints and these are –

    Defence. Honour and Joy.

These then are enjoyed by us through our faith, even in the worst of conditions or situations that we will all experience in this life before the life to come.

Instead of going to Mahanaim (a place of ‘two armies.’) we should seek out our own

Menahem (a ‘comforter.’) for the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous run to it and are saved, secure and safe. Hallelujah.

All our blessings flow from God’s grace towards us, His chosen people – Jew and Gentile one in Messiah Jesus.

We are blessed in Christ, through Christ and will be with Christ forever. Amen.

Date : 30/11/-0001    

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