The Lord is my Sustainer.
Psalm 3 (A Psalm of David when he fled from his son Absalom):
1O LORD, how my foes have increased! How many rise up against me! 2Many say of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3But You, O LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. 4To the LORD I cry aloud, and He answers me from His holy mountain. 5I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the LORD sustains me. 6I will not fear the myriads set against me on every side. 7Arise, O LORD! Save me, O my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8Salvation belongs to the LORD; may Your blessing be on Your people.
David is going through ‘hell on earth’ as he penned this psalm under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He’s literally running for his life. What makes his situation even more challenging is his son, Absalom, is the one leading this massive rebellion against his father and king.
Nevertheless, David’s life remains rooted in his identity found in the unchanging, living God of the universe. Here are the evidences of this conclusion:
1. David is mindful.
Verses 1 and 2 show David to be acutely aware of the reality he is up against. David notes that the number of his enemies are increasing. Additionally, David says they are even saying God will not rescue him from their hand which puts even more salt in the wound.
David has done nothing to deserve this. He could have easily become bitter towards God. By intently observing his raw emotions, David is able to sort them out in a healthy manner which we’ll see next.
2. David is steadfast.
Verses 3-5 outline David’s response to what he’s facing by reminding himself of the truth. Not only is the Lord David’s mighty creator, He is his sovereign sustainer as well. Yes, this includes David’s present and gloomy situation.
For a practical example, something as simple as our very breath serves us well to mention here. Our very breath is proof of the Lord’s sustaining hand all throughout our lives. God gave us the breath we breathe and continues to sustain it all the days of our lives. Additionally, the Lord gave His own Spirit to live inside His people.
We will no longer need our breath once we see Jesus face to face in heaven but it should be a great reminder of God’s grace and sustenance in this life that we can keep referring back to.
David reminds himself that God is his shield (verse 3). Although David is surrounded by the very real threats of his enemies He acknowledges that he is covered and protected by the presence of the Lord. The Lord also lifts up David’s head noted here in verse 3 as well.
It would be easy and understandable for David to be downcast in the midst of his situation. But, he let’s God’s truth and love to wash over him. We know this to be true because in verse 5 he tells us he’s able to sleep and rest while everything is raging.
How many of us have experienced sleepless nights because we fret about one thing or the other? Here, we see David resting secure in the midst of insecurity because the Lord is his sustainer.
3. David is honest.
The last few verses of the psalm show us why the Bible is indeed the inspired Word of God (there are so many other reasons as well). The Bible is raw, unadulterated reality. David brings his honest and real feelings to the Lord in verse 7 regarding his enemies. David is unashamed and doesn’t let his genuine thoughts on the matter keep him stuck.
David’s contemplative lifestyle illustrates this notion. Lastly, David understands his salvation only comes from his Lord which enables him to put how he’s feeling in the right perspective.
Keep Looking Up,
Rev. Jon Barrett | Executive Director of CVCCS