FAITH IN A TIME OF CRISIS
Lord, protect me from those who wish me harm.
Read PSALM 3
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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
God is viewed several ways in the Old Testament, one of which is as a shield. What do you ascertain from this?
This psalm belongs to a group known as prayers of personal lament. It clearly indicates a situation of extreme crisis in which, from any objective point of view, all seems to be lost. The psalmist is concerned both by the sheer numbers of people hostile to him and by their claims that he can expect no help from God.
It is possible that as you read this, you find yourself in a situation of deep personal distress in which faith is tested to its limits. Are the opponents correct in saying that trust in God is useless in this context and that the sheer weight of numbers on their side leaves people of faith exposed and therefore hopeless? The point of real tension in this psalm is simply: is God real or not? Is faith in God’s deliverance wishful thinking, or does God deliver his people when all seems lost?
The testimony of the psalmist could not be clearer: God is the most profound reality in his life. Accordingly, God’s protection and love enable him to sleep soundly and with a good conscience. The Hebrew in verse 4 suggests not only that his prayer at this time is being answered but that it rests on his experience of a life rich in prayer. There is no evidence within the psalm that the crisis has been averted. It ends with the confession that, even if the situation were far worse, the psalmist will not be afraid but would remain confident; the final verse indicates the Lord brings deliverance to those who trust him.
Many Christians around the world face huge pressures which challenge their faith. Remember them in prayer today.
Lord, You are the only one who can lift up my head when it is hung in fear or discouragement.
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