Psalm 3. God! Look! Help!


Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 3. (MsgB)

God! Look! Enemies past counting!
Enemies sprouting like mushrooms.

But you, God, shield me on all sides;
You ground my feet, you lift my head high;
With all my might I shout up to God,
His answers thunder from the holy mountain.

Real help comes from God.
Your blessing clothes your people!

I like the way that Psalm 3 gets right down to brass tacks. Life sucks. Luck runs out. Enemies abound. Evil surrounds me. I feel like a trapped rat, penned in on all sides.

God! Look! Help!

Psalm 3 is accredited to King David, written when he was escaping for his life from one of his many enemies. If you know David’s story well, there were numerous times when the King of Israel had to escape death by the hair on his chinny-chin-chin. In truth, these kinds of encounters are never pleasant. But this one is particularly painful, because David is forced to escape his own son, Absalom, who has decided to go to war with his dad over the kingship of the nation.

God! Look! Help!

If we think our presidential elections in the USA are particularly ugly, think again. In the days when David was king, the only way to replace an existing ruler was to kill him! Overthrowing an existing government official in those days was not done through a ballot box. Absalom, David’s own son, had to kill his father if he was going to have the throne he wanted so badly.

God! Look! Help!

So how in the world David had time to write a prayerful song while running for his life, heaven only knows. But write he did. And now we have his song that speaks so honestly to the hearts of those who feel absolutely overwhelmed by the war that sometimes rages all around us.

I’m struck here how David distinguishes between real help that comes only from God versus an artificial help that might be conjured up here on planet earth. Apparently, David knew through past experiences that there is a true difference between our ability to protect ourselves from evil versus God’s powerful, heaven-sent help that cuts through all the crap, delivering us in ways that just can’t be explained outside of God’s sovereign providence.

God! Look! Help!

In my hopeless-looking situation, may I learn from King David his secret to survival.

With all my might I shout up to God!

God! Look! Help!

My prayer: Lord, life down here is not always easy. At times, enemies surround me. Evil sprouts up like mushrooms. Friends and family betray me. Life sucks. Crap abounds. Thank You that Your Word contains model prayers for me that have been time-tested and found to be true. With all my might I shout up to You…God! Look! Help! For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: David’s comments in Psalm 3 intrigue me. How have I settled for artificial help? Help that’s been constructed through human effort and fleshly zeal? What would it look like for me to wait for real help that comes only from God? What might being ‘clothed in God’s blessing’ look like versus dressing myself for the battle?

So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?

Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Sustainable Faith-Heartland network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.

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