Trusting God for Life

Posted: September 1, 2011 in Psalms

Psalms 1-3, “Trusting God for Life”

If you’ve ever been blessed by a lyric to a song on the radio, you have an inkling of what it’s like to study the book of Psalms.  In Hebrew, the title of the book referred to “praises,” whereas the Greek name (from where we get our English word) refers to “songs played by stringed instruments.”  Think of it as the ancient version of the old “Maranatha!” green book without all the guitar chords listed. J

What exactly IS a psalm?  Simply put, a psalm is just a song.  It’s certainly Hebrew poetry, but a content-wise, a psalm can range from anything from general wisdom – lament – praise – imprecatory – prophetic, and more.  Psalms are honest expressions of devotion from the writer, yet given under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for the benefit of all of God’s people.  The psalms are quoted in the NT more than any other book from the OT – the psalms contain both the shortest chapter in the Bible (117) and the longest chapter (119) – the psalms provide a wonderful source of devotional material for anyone who longs to praise the Lord & know Him better.  To read only 5 psalms a day would provide devotions for a month (along with 1 chapter of proverbs a day, it makes a great combination that Billy Graham used often).

When reading the psalms, it helps to be familiar with the concept of Hebrew poetry.  Whereas English poetry generally rhymes with sound (“The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain”), Hebrew poetry rhymes in thought.  Hebrew poetry is marked by parallelism, where two lines (sometimes 3-4) are brought together in contrast, comparison, or emphasis, etc.  Some scholars have found meter in the language (just as English poetry has meter), but obviously that rarely comes across in translation.  Some psalms are even built around the Hebrew alphabet (called “acrostics”), with every line beginning with a different letter.  This would aid in memorization, and demonstrate that a topic was covered thoroughly.  Yet parallelism is what the average reader will encounter most often, and it’s worth paying attention to.  Ignoring it can lead to taking verses from their context & making the same mistakes that Job’s friends made in combining a bit of truth with a lot of error.

Who wrote the psalms?  A myriad of authors.  David is credited with writing over 70 of the 150 & other authors include the sons of Korah, Asaph, Solomon, Moses, and many anonymous authors.  Ultimately, the voice of God is behind it all through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  That the book exists at all is a credit to the sovereignty of God in that the authors of the psalms are about as varied as the authors of the rest of the OT, and spans nearly the same amount of time.  The hymnbook that we hold in our hand is a miracle in itself!

One note about the prophetic aspect.  There’s much prophecy contained within the book (nearly every psalm has at least some prophetic element to it), and much of that points to the Messiah, the Lord Jesus.  Some psalms are specifically referred to as Messianic psalms due to the specific nature of the prophecy, yet all of the psalms can be tied somewhat to Christ.  Some scholars refer to Jesus as the singer of the psalms, and it can help to look for Jesus’ perspective as we start to study the book.

As we begin the book, we begin with the idea of trust.  God is worthy of our trust at all times, and the person who is submitted to God demonstrates that through our trust in God’s word.

Psalm 1 (NKJV) – Contrasting the saint & the sinner – trusting the word of God.

  • Vss. 1-3: description of the saint

1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

  • What the saint does NOT do.  Sometimes it’s helpful to define something by looking at what it isn’t.  The book of Psalms opens in exactly this way to describe the man or woman who belongs to the Lord.
    • When speaking of the godly/righteous man, ultimately we understand that the Psalmist is speaking of Christ.  Where we fall short in righteousness, Jesus fills the gaps.  Where we walk imperfectly with God, the Son walks perfectly with the Father.  Jesus is our example, but more than our example, He’s also our hope.  Whereas we will always fall short of the glory of God, when we are found in Christ & in His righteousness, we will be found to fulfill it because of Jesus’ work on our behalf.
  • Notice this starts off with “blessing.”  It’s interesting that Jesus began His Sermon on the Mount in the same way that the book of Psalms opens.  The saint of God (the man/woman who belongs to God) is truly “blessed.”  In the Greek (from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount), the term refers to a transcendent happiness.  It’s much the same idea in the Hebrew.  “Oh how happy!” – the psalmist gives an exclamation of happiness and joy for the person who belongs to God.
    • That’s not to say that every day will be as happy as the last.  (The book of Job made that perfectly clear!)  But generally speaking, the man or woman in Christ lives a life that is characterized by joy.  We CAN be truly happy because of the work of Christ that’s been done on our behalf.  We’ve been forgiven!  We’ve been set free!  We’ve been given access to the Father & adoption by Him!  We’ve been made co-heirs with Christ!  How happy we can be in the midst of all things because of this!
  • What does the saint NOT do?  (1) walk in ungodly counsel, (2) stand in sinners’ pathways, (3) sits with scornful/mocking people (presumably speaking of those who mock the Living God).  Notice all the words of position/posture.  The idea is that the godly man/woman has no participation with the ungodly in any form.  The saint does not listen to the advice of sinners – the saint does not walk in the same ways doing the same things as sinners – the saint does not engage in the same hateful speech and thoughts as sinners.  Those are all things that characterize the world.  Yet when we surrendered our lives to Christ Jesus as Lord, we were born of the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:5) – we were made into new creations (2 Cor 5:17).  The things we used to do, we do no longer.  We no longer walk like the world; we walk like those who have been bought by the Lord Jesus.  We have a new Master & our lives ought to reflect that fact.
    • These are the same things that Jesus has been saying in the Sermon on the Mount…

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

  • What the saint DOES do.  #1: The saint delights in the word of God.  The Bible (summarized as the Law of God) is something that brings pleasure to the people of God.  We thank God for His commands, as they make us aware of sin.  We praise God for His promises, as they assure us of His faithfulness.  We rejoice in God for the gospel, as they tell of us of our salvation.  We can delight in every aspect of the word of God because it takes us straight to the feet of God!
  • #2: The saint stays in the word of God.  Whether day or night, a Christian continually thinks upon the Scripture.  Don’t be thrown by the word “meditate” – this isn’t talking about what most people refer to in Eastern Meditation.  In Eastern Meditation, people empty their minds with the exception of a mantra that they repeat over & over again (and thereby opening their mind to all sorts of spiritual danger!).  In Biblical meditation, we fill our mind with the word of God.  We dwell upon the Word & chew it (like a cow chewing the cud).  As Jesus said, the word of God is our daily bread (Mt 4:4), and we stay in it constantly.
    • Question: does this mean that we need to quit our jobs & do nothing but study the word?  That might sound appealing, but no. J  The idea is simply that the word of God is never far from us.  The Christian is characterized as being someone to stays in the Bible. Think about it – even when there are parts of the Bible that we do not understand, someone who is a Christian knows that the Bible is the first place we ought to turn for answers.  When we seek to praise God in devotional time, we read the Word.  When we desperately need the comfort of God, we go to the Word.

3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

  • The results of being in the word of God.  The saint becomes rooted – grounded like a solid tree planted by a river.  Trees that have ready access to a plentiful water source become strong & healthy – just as a Christian who stays rooted in the word of God.
  • What is the river?  Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman of living water that He alone could offer, from which she would never thirst again (John 4:14).  Ultimately, He was referring to the Holy Spirit – which He promised to offer as a river to those who simply asked in faith. John 7:37–39, "(37) On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (38) He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (39) But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." []  Have you received of this Living Water?  It’s available for the asking!
  • If we drink deeply of the Living Water, what happens?  Just as a tree would become abundant, so is the saint of God.  We have an abundance of:
    • Nourishment.  These are “rivers of water.”  Every spiritual need we have will be met in Christ, and demonstrated to us through the word of God.  Again, Jesus told us that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.  We are nourished by staying in the written word of God, which takes us directly to the feet of the Living Word of God, who has promised us the Holy Spirit.
    • Fruit.  Those who stay grounded in the word of God, submitted to the Holy Spirit will naturally mature.  Like a tree that brings forth fruit in its season, so will the man or woman of God demonstrate the maturity of Christ the longer we stay in the word of God.
      • Objection: “I know a lot of people who know a lot of Bible verses that don’t seem to be mature at all!”  Sadly that’s true of too many Christians.  Keep in mind there’s a difference between knowing the word & being submitted to the word.  It’s one thing to read the words on the page; it’s another to be transformed by the renewing of our mind.  Get into the word of God, but be submitted to God in the process!
    • Blessing.  The saint has a promise of prosperity – “whatever he does shall prosper.”  That’s not to say that the saint has a promise of a full bank account; yet there’s a spiritual prosperity that believers experience as we walk with the Lord Jesus.  We experience spiritual blessing in our lives the more our own characters are conformed into the image of Christ through the word of God.  We find (like Paul) that whether we abase or we abound, that we can be content & we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Phil 4:11-13)
  • Vss. 4-5: description of the sinner.

4 The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.

  • Contrast with the sinner.  The saint is rooted; the sinner is unstable.  The saint is like a tree that can never be moved; the sinner is like chaff that has been separated from the wheat & is ready to be blown away by the wind.  Just like chaff is meant to be discarded, so is the person who continues to rebel against God & remains outside the grace of Jesus Christ.  That person will be discarded at the judgment.  See vs. 5…

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

  • The results of not being found in Christ. #1: the sinner will be blown away at the judgment.  This is the same sort of language that John the Baptist used when he pleaded with people to repent & prepare their hearts to receive Jesus Christ.  Matthew 3:10–12, "(10) And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (11) I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (12) His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." []
    • The person outside of Jesus Christ has no hope of salvation.  They “shall not stand in the judgment.”  The only way to be able to stand is to be one who is planted by the rivers of water.  The only way to be planted as a tree is to be found in Christ!
  • Result #2: The sinner will have no hope of fellowship.  The “congregation of the righteous” are those who have been found to survive the judgment of God because of the righteousness given to them by God through Jesus Christ.  We will have fellowship with each other & with God for all eternity.  The sinner has no hope of such fellowship.  They will be forever cast away into the lake of fire where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.
  • Keep in mind the Psalmist isn’t trying to make anyone feel bad; he wants them to wake up!  There are very real results for choosing to reject the grace of God.  Those who belong to God experience eternal blessing; those who reject God face eternal punishment.  The choice should be obvious!

6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

  • Which are you?  God knows.  God knows who are truly His & who is putting on a show of religion.  It may not be always evident to us on the outside today, but God will make it plain on the day of judgment.  In that day, there will by many who cry out “Lord, Lord, didn’t we do miracles & wonders in Your name?” And Jesus will reply, “Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity, for I never knew you.” (Mt 7:23)  God most certainly knows who are His – who has indeed been given the righteousness of Christ, and who has persisted in his/her rebellion against God.
  • Question: “If God knows, can we ever know?”  Absolutely, yes!  Surrender your life to the Lord Jesus, believing that He is truly God in the flesh who went to the cross & died in your place, and rose again from the grave.  Humble yourself before Him & receive Him as your personal Lord & Savior & you can have the glorious assurance of salvation.  The Bible promises that to those who received Him, to them God gives the right to become children of God, to those who believe upon His name. (Jn 1:12)
  • The moral?  Be a blessed man or woman by casting yourself upon the mercies of God, trusting in His word, and walking in His ways.

 

Psalm 2 (NKJV) – Trust the Messiah of God
Background: Messianic psalm, prophetically pointing towards the 2nd coming and rule of Christ as King.  This was seemingly a coronation psalm, not only pointing to the ultimate coronation of Christ Jesus, but apparently used at every kingly coronation in Jerusalem as a new son of David would assume the throne.  This was in line with the promises God made to David (in that Solomon would be called the son of God), but ultimately all of them prefigured Jesus Christ who fulfills the prophecy perfectly.

  • Vss. 1-3: the rebellion of the nations

1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.”

  • Nations” is a reference to the Gentiles.  The Gentile nations would seemingly rage against the chosen king in Israel & plot against the Jewish people.  Jewish history (both ancient and modern) proves this to be true.  Yet ultimately, this speaks of their plotting against Jesus Christ.  They take counsel against “the LORD and against His Anointed.”
    • “LORD” is a reference to the covenant name of God.  Hebrew scribes considered the name of God to sacred to actually speak out loud, so they would substitute the word for “Lord” in place of “Yahweh” (or “Jehovah” – same word; different pronunciation).  Whenever “LORD” is used in the Scripture, it’s a reference to the One True God & His covenant relationship with Israel & His people.  God is the great “I AM” (as revealed to Moses) – the ever-existent One independent of all His creation.  Thus to say the nations are rebelling against the LORD, it is to say that the nations rebel against the One True God as revealed in His relationship with Israel.
      • We see something similar to this today.  People can generally talk about “God” all day long.  They have no problem with a generic supernatural being.  Where the rebellion comes in is when this “God” is defined as the God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ.  THEN people start rebelling in spades!
    • His Anointed”: The Hebrew word used here is “mashiyach” = “Messiah.”  When people rebel against God, they demonstrate it in rebelling against the Messiah of God.  Every son of David who sat as king sat in the role of the Anointed One – yet ultimately there is but one truly Anointed One of God: the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Although there are definitely aspects of this that was seen in the days of the monarchy in Israel, the idea is pretty plain that this is a prophecy that looks towards the future days when Jesus comes to reign as King.  These nations are nations that are rebelling against Jesus’ rightful rule as Messiah – they reject the rule of God’s chosen King.
    • In a sense, we see this every day as people reject the good news of Jesus Christ.  When people despise the gospel message, they rage against the only possible avenue of salvation & they plot against the Deliverer that God so lovingly provided.
    • Yet to look at this psalm literally (which is what we must do – rather than spiritualizing away the meaning), we have to acknowledge there are some aspects of this that have not yet happened.  Granted, Rome did plot against the Messiah when they sent Jesus to the cross, but that certainly can’t by themselves be called “the nations,” nor did they take counsel together to attempt to plot a rebellion.  Thus this Psalm must be speaking of still future events – which it is & the Bible directly tells us of a time in which the nations of the world will plot against the reign of the Lord Jesus. Revelation 16:13–14, "(13) And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. (14) For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." [] The nations will be deceived by Satan to the point of thinking they can plot and battle against Almighty God.
  • BTW – this is exactly why the psalmist calls this a “vain thing.”  How can someone possibly think they can go toe-to-toe with God & win?  There aren’t enough tanks and missiles in the world that can possibly take out Almighty God.  God spoke the world into existence; military might doesn’t exactly frighten Him.
  • Vss. 4-6: the response of God

4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision.

  • Whoever said God doesn’t have a sense of humor?  It must be a truly funny thought to God that the little beings in His creation could possibly take on the Creator in a fight.  We don’t often think about God mocking us, but keep in mind God isn’t mocking US; He’s mocking those who persist in rebellion against Him.  As if the complaints of man could ever convince God not to install Jesus on the throne of Jerusalem as King.

5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.”

  • Instead of the kings of the earth troubling God, God will trouble them.  During the days of the Great Tribulation, God will give sign after sign – disaster after disaster – giving mankind every possible opportunity to repent.  God had attempted to call people to repent by His love & grace; during the days of the Tribulation, God will do the same through the outpouring of His wrath.
  • The result?  God’s King (Jesus) WILL be installed in Jerusalem, no matter what.  God has given the promise, and God is going to be true to that promise.  Let God be true & every man a liar (Rom 3:4).  There are multitudes of Biblical prophecies stating that the Messiah will literally reign over all the earth from Jerusalem – revealed in the New Testament as the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.  To assume that these promises merely speak of spiritual truth is to ignore the very promises of God.  God will set His King in Zion – and He speaks as if it has already happened.
  • Vss. 7-9: the commission of the Messiah

7 “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

  • In a sense, this was true of every king that sat on the throne of David.  This was part of the covenant that God made.  God specifically promised David would bear a son named Solomon, whom God would call His own son (1 Chr 22:9-10).  Whenever a new son of David would ascend to the throne, these words could be spoken over them & about them, as if they had been begotten by the Lord that day.
  • Yet ultimately (and primarily) this speaks of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the eternal Son of God, begotten of Him from time immemorial.  There has never been a time that the Son of God did not exist, yet we know Jesus is begotten of the Father (Jn 1:14).
    • So what does God mean about Jesus being begotten “today”?  According to Acts 13:33, it’s a prophecy referring to the Resurrection.  Understand that it is in the Resurrection that Jesus was declared to the Son of God with power (Rom 1:4), thus it was on that Sunday morning that Jesus was “begotten” of the Lord.
    • This is also a reference to the kingdom promises of God coming to fruition.  Right now we know already that Jesus is the King.  He’s been given all authority in heaven & on earth.  Yet at the same time, we know that Jesus does not yet literally reign over the kings of the earth from Jerusalem.  That day is a literal day that is coming – and when it comes, this prophecy will be fulfilled.

8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ”

  • Two promises made to Jesus in vss. 8-9.  Promise #1: Every nation will serve Jesus.  Every nation of the earth will fall into the inheritance of Jesus Christ – no corner of the world will not recognize Him as Lord & King. Philippians 2:9–11, "(9) Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, (10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, (11) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." []
    • This is one more reason to acknowledge this is yet a future promise of God.  Yes, there are people from virtually every nation of the world that has heard the gospel & come to faith in Jesus Christ.  Yet we are not at the point yet when every knee in all of creation will bow to Jesus as Lord – the ends of the earth have not yet submitted themselves to be the possession of Christ.  It is a sure promise of God, but it is a future promise of God – one that we can bank on!
  • Promise #2: Every nation will be judged by Jesus. We think of Jesus being full of love & grace (which He is), but none of that precludes Jesus exhibiting the righteous wrath of God, and ruling in firmness & justice.  Revelation 19:15, "Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." []  In Jesus’ 1st coming, we saw the demonstration of His holy grace; in Jesus’ 2nd coming, we’ll see the demonstration of His holy wrath.  (Which tells us that the time we need to submit ourselves to Jesus is NOW.)
  • Vss. 10-12: the application to the nations.

10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth.

  • Praise the Lord that the psalm doesn’t end with only the proclamation of the coming wrath and judgment of the Son of God.  There’s still opportunity to repent, if the kings of the earth would but receive godly instruction & counsel.
  • Likewise with mankind.  Some people think, “Oh, it’s too late for me.  I’ve lived my life this way & there’s no use trying to follow the Lord now.”  Know this: until the day you stop breathing, it’s never too late!  To use the excuse of how you’ll look to other people is simply a futile exercise in pride.  Do you really want pride to be the reason you look Jesus in the eye & tell Him why you rejected Him all your life?  It’s never too late.  Receive the instruction of the Lord & repent!
  • The psalmist gives 4 attitudes of repentance…

11 Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling.

  • Attitude #1: Serve God.  Keep in mind that the psalmist was writing to the kings of the earth.  Kings expect to BE served, they don’t usually expect to serve someone else.  Yet that’s exactly what God calls them to do.  When Jesus reigns as King, He will reign as King OF Kings, and Lord OF Lords.  Jesus will reign supreme over every king of the earth.  If someone wants to live in the kingdom of God, then they need to submit themselves to serve King Jesus.
  • Attitude #2: Fear God.  Notice that service to Jesus cannot be done merely with lip service.  The psalmist says to “Serve the LORD with fear” – to serve the Lord in reverent awe of Him, recognizing who He is, and who we are in respect to Him.  Jesus is the Lord & Creator; we are but His creations.  When we have the proper perspective that God is God & we’re not, we’ll have a better idea of what it means to fear the Lord.
  • Attitude #3: Praise God. Notice also that service to Jesus is not to be a tiresome burden, but a service of joy.  The person who does truly surrender their life to the Lord Jesus, properly fearing God will find that the relationship God calls us to isn’t one to be scared of, but one in which we find blessing & happiness as we walk as the people that God has created us to be.  To be in covenant relationship with God & the proper relationship with God is a wonderful thing!

12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

  • Attitude #4: worship God.  “Kiss the Son.”  The idea of worship really comes from the word used to translate “kiss.”  The idea is not one of a romance, but of allegiance.  Servants would kiss the hand or the ring of their master to demonstrate their humble allegiance to him.  That’s the same idea presented here.  The kings of the earth were not to continue in vain pride & rebellion, but were to humbly submit & demonstrate their allegiance to Christ Jesus by kissing His hand.
  • What if they refuse?  They incur the anger & wrath of Almighty God.  Keep in mind that although Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus is not less than God.  He is fully God in every respect.  When He pours out His righteous wrath, it comes in its fullness & it will be eternal in every respect.  The very last Person anyone would want to incur the wrath of is the Lord Jesus Christ.  We have the opportunity now to worship Him – take it!
  • Those who take the instruction of the psalmist & surrender their lives to Jesus as Lord will be blessed.  Those who take the opportunity to trust Jesus as the Messiah of God will be blessed in their relationship with God.  Those who continue to rebel do so with the full knowledge that if they reject God, God will reject them.

 

Psalm 3 (NKJV) – Trust the protection of God
A Psalm of David When He Fled from Absalom His Son.

  • Context found in 2 Samuel 15. 
  • Vss. 1-2: attacks of the enemy

1 LORD, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. 2 Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah

  • Remember that it wasn’t only Absalom that had betrayed David.  Absalom had stolen the hearts of all the men of Israel (2 Sam 15:6).  Even David’s own advisor Ahithophel went to Absalom’s side (2 Sam 15:12).  No wonder it felt like the numbers of those who troubled David just seemed to increase & increase.  Even when David was on the run, it seemed that people just wanted to hit him while he was down (such as Shimei, 2 Sam 16:5-8).
    • Have you ever felt the same way?  That troubles just seem to increase & increase?  That no one seems to take your side to bear your burden with you & you begin to feel all alone?  What do you do?  The same thing David did: cry out to the Lord!
  • Even before David details his pain, he commits himself to the Lord.  His very prayer is based in the covenant relationship he has with God (“LORD”).  Out of all the psalmists, we’ll find that David uses the covenant name of God most often – it’s virtually a tell-tale signature of his writing.  David got a lot of things wrong in his life, but the one thing he got consistently right was understanding his relationship with the Lord.  He knew that he didn’t deserve a single blessing, but that every blessing he did receive came as a gift of grace from the Lord his God.  Thus he never hesitated to turn to the Lord in times of trouble.
    • That’s the way it ought to be for us as well.  The more we understand the grace we have received from God, the deeper our humility & thankfulness is towards the Lord.  At the same time, it goes to show us the depth of the dependence we have upon the Lord.  It’s a bit ironic: those who don’t know the Lord don’t think they need the Lord, thus they rarely call upon God, taking pride in their so-called “independence.”  Yet those who DO know God through Jesus Christ understand how desperate we are for His grace – and even after we’ve received of it, we continue to take our needs to God because we understand that He is the only One who can possibly fill them.  Our dependence upon the Lord gives us far more freedom and blessing than anyone who isolates themselves from God.
  • Don’t miss how this points to the better-than-David, the Lord Jesus Christ.  If we ever felt betrayed – if David ever felt betrayed – how much more can we be assured that Jesus truly felt betrayed.  The very people He came to save rejected Him.  The disciples that promised to always follow Him scattered at His arrest.  One of His closest disciples even betrayed Him to the priests for less than the price of a slave.  Jesus was mocked by the priests who taunted Him, saying, “Let God save Him.”  As with David, they proclaimed there was no help for Him in God – how little did they know!
  • Vss. 3-6: comfort found in God

3 But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
What were the promises that David (and Jesus) relied upon? 4 I cried to the LORD with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah

  • God is our protector: a shield.
  • God is our hope & dignity: our glory.
  • God is our provider: the lifter of our heads.
  • God is our deliverer: He hears us when we cry.  When David writes that God heard him from “His holy hill,” it’s a reference to the fact that God was still David’s God – even if David wasn’t personally in Jerusalem.  David had fled, but God never stopped being David’s deliverer.  He heard David’s cry – just as He hears our cries.  We can be sure that God hears us!

5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me. 6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me all around.

  • Referring to the protection & provision of God, and the peace that God provides.
    • This is the same sort of peace that is promised to believers in Jesus Christ as we entrust Him with all our needs.  Philippians 4:6–7, "(6) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (7) and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." []
  • Did David have reason to fear?  From a human perspective, yes!  His government was on the run, and his son had the loyalty of all the people. …  Yet from a spiritual perspective, David had no reason to fear whatsoever.  GOD was his provider!  If God is for us, who can be against us?
  • Vss. 7-8: prayer & petition to God

7 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.

  • Calling on God to act & deliver.
  • Notice the past tense.  God had acted in the past; David is confident that God will act in the future.  David has complete faith & trust in the Lord’s provision.

8 Salvation belongs to the LORD. Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah

  • Salvation” = Yeshua.  Salvation belongs to the Lord because the Lord is the One who provides the deliverer: the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Those who trust in the Lord for salvation will always find their blessing in the Lord – even in the midst of hardship.  Trust Him!

Conclusion:
Trust the Lord!

  • Psalm 1: trust in the word of God to walk as a man/woman of God
  • Psalm 2: trust in the Messiah of God as Lord & King for salvation
  • Psalm 3: trust in the protection of God as our Deliverer & protector

How blessed it is to be a child of the Living Lord God!  To know His salvation/deliverance experientially – to know His promises through His word literally – to know the Messiah of God personally.  May we walk as His children…may we live our lives fully trusting the Lord God who saves us!

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