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.
Did you ever wonder what it was like to have everybody turn against you? Well, not everybody. It just feels that way.
Once when I was a pastor, there was something going on in the church that was terribly wrong. It involved a popular member of the ministerial staff. If I revealed the truth, I would be in for a battle and would bring the wrath of many of his devoted supporters upon me. But it was the right thing to do.
Fortunately, the lay leadership in the church stood with me, but the incident divided the church. As a result, my spirit was crushed, and the ministry declined.
Psalm 3 speaks to that feeling, when people have turned on you, including those you thought were your friends.
Absalom, one of King David’s sons was heir to his father’s throne. His life was far from the model of one worthy of Israel’s throne, and David had been prophetically counseled that his son, Solomon, was to be his successor. Absalom led a revolt, and rather than fighting his son, David fled Jerusalem.
Psalm 3 then expresses the heartfelt thoughts of the aging King as he was pursued by his son.
David references his detractors in verse 2. “Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’” (v2)
Absalom’s followers reasoned that since they had turned on David, so had God. “God will not deliver him.” Unfortunately, they weren’t getting their direction from God. They followed the crowd, let someone else do their thinking for them, and probably didn’t have all the facts. How sad they wouldn’t give their longtime leader the benefit of the doubt.
However, it wasn’t David who barred Absalom from the throne. It was God. God is on the side of His obedient people and David knew that.
Being right isn’t always popular. Following God doesn’t always win friends. But we should never forget that God doesn’t abandon us in those LOW times. He’s with us in the valley just as He is on the mountaintop.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
King David’s reaction to the uprising against him teaches a valuable lesson about how faith and an abiding relationship with God benefits us when we are overwhelmed by our circumstances. David’s focus during his trial was on God and not on the crisis.
Instead of being consumed by your troubles, think about God, who He is, what He’s already done for you, and cling to His promises. Every time a painful thought enters your mind, give it to Him. Like the song says, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.
I’ll close with the refrain from that great old hymn.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Grace and Mercy for Your Time of Need
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.