A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
1 Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
7 Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
God’s king is a suffering king. Psalm 2 celebrated one key characteristic of God’s King: he is powerful. Psalm 3 now introduces another huge theme in the life of God’s king: he suffers. God’s powerful king is also a suffering king. Blessing flowed from the power of God’s king in the closing words of Psalm 2. Now in the closing words of Psalm 3, blessing flows to God’s people from the suffering of God’s King. We are learning that the powerful victory of God’s king will come through a pathway of suffering.
As we read Psalm 3, we are following the story of King David’s suffering, as he fled his son Absalom (see 2 Samuel 15:13ff). Ultimately, we are following the story of King Jesus’ suffering on the cross. Just as Jesus’ power is greater than that of David, so is his suffering.
Read verse 2 and then picture Jesus hanging on the cross while all around him mocked and abused him (see Mark 15:31-32). Read verse 4 and then picture Jesus crying out as he breathed his last (Mark 15:37). Read verse 7 and then picture Jesus’ empty tomb and the ultimate deliverance of God’s ultimate king. Read verse 7 again and picture sin and death struck in the jaw – smashed to pieces by Jesus. Picture death now being mocked by Jesus’ suffering and deliverance: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
The opening Psalms are dominated by lament. The closing Psalms, we will see, are dominated by praise. The ultimate reason that there is praise beyond lament, is because there is resurrection beyond death. Because of Jesus. How do we find praise beyond lament? When we find Jesus.
Head: What have you learnt about Jesus from Psalm 3? What have you learnt about yourself?
Heart: How does it make you feel that Jesus’ victory came through suffering?
Hands: Are you suffering physically or emotionally today? Give thanks to God that this suffering will not have the last word.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that Jesus’ resurrection is the last word. Thank you that the one who was mocked on a cross now mocks death itself. Thank you that my powerful king won his victory over death through his own suffering. So help me to endure suffering in my life knowing the eternal hope of Jesus’ resurrection. Please give me courage as I rub shoulders today with those who would mock you, to never be such a mocker but to give you praise beyond my lament. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.