2015LentCoverWebSomething To Think About

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.

LORD, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him.” Selah

But you, LORD, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the LORD,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because theLORD sustains me.

Psalm 3:1-5

We are barely into the Book of Psalms and we are introduced to trouble and enemies rising up. That tells us something about our world and our lives. The Psalms are very realistic about trouble and enemies who threaten. The superscript heading up today’s psalm tells us that this psalm written by David comes from one of the darkest, most humiliating times in his life. David’s own son Absalom has risen up in rebellion against him; in the dead of night David has to flee Jerusalem and head for the wilderness (see II Samuel 15-18).

Many people that David had counted as his friends have turned against him and joined with Absalom’s conspiracy. The historical record informs us that this was a time that “The conspiracy grew in strength, and the people with Absalom kept increasing” (II Samuel 15:12b). No wonder David begins this psalm with the cry, “LORD, how many are my foes!” All of this surely brings home to David his failure as a father and the ways he has wronged Absalom (See II Samuel 13:21, 25). David’s enemies looked at his sin and were confident that God had rejected him and concluded: “God will not deliver him.” The thought of being deserted by God would be more painful to David than being deserted by his family and friends.

But you, O LORD…” Notice how in this psalm David quickly shifts his focus from his enemies to his God, who is his “shield” and “glory”. If you gaze too long at your problems they will grow to terrifying proportions, but their hypnotic power is broken when you fix your focus on God. God has everything under control and there is no need to panic. Although his enemies believed there was no help for David in God, David knew that God was a shield around him.

David’s words are not so much a prayer as they are affirmations. David declares what he knows to be true:

  • You are a shield around me;
  • You are my glory;
  • You are the one who lifts up my head in dignity and honor;
  • The LORD answers me when I cry to Him.

It is significant that David adds the word “Selah” after his bold affirmations of God as his deliverer and defender. The word “Selah” comes from a Hebrew word which means “to hang”, as in hanging up something to be weighed. In Bible times food and various commodities were hung on scales to determine their value. So in the Biblical text the word “Selah” instructs us to weigh, carefully measure, and reflect on what we have just read. “Selah” calls for us to follow the steps of Lectio Divina and to linger over God’s Word as we Read, Reflect, Respond, and Rest. It is important that we weigh and carefully measure what God has just said to us in His Word.

In the early church when praying the psalms became a daily practice, today’s psalm was made the Morning Prayer. What a great prayer to begin a day!

By turning his focus from his enemies to his God, David is then able to lie down and sleep, though surrounded by many troubles. And David sleeps not on a soft, comfortable palace bed, but in the wilderness. Yet David awakens each morning knowing that God has watched over him through the night. “Selah”! That’s something to think about!

READ   REFLECT   RESPOND   REST
RECORD (optional)

 

Lent 2015 Devotional—Day 9

On February 26, 2015 By

Real To Real

A prayer of David.

Hear me, LORD, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
    save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord,
    for I call to you […]

Continue Reading

Lent 2015 Devotional—Day 8

On February 25, 2015 By

A New Dimension Of Worship

The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

Praise the Lord, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
    you his servants who do […]

Continue Reading

Lent 2015 Devotional—Day 7

On February 24, 2015 By

How To Pray

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
Continue Reading

Lent 2015 Devotional—Day 6

On February 23, 2015 By

Seeing God’s Handprints

He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
    it flows between the mountains.
They give water to all the beasts of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
    they sing among the branches.
He waters the […]

Continue Reading

Lent 2015 Devotional—Day 5

On February 22, 2015 By

Heaven Help Me!

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
[…]

Continue Reading

Lent 2015 Devotional—Day 4

On February 21, 2015 By

Already There, Waiting

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle […]

Continue Reading

Lent 2015 Devotional—Day 3

On February 20, 2015 By

Something To Get Excited About

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower […]

Continue Reading

Lent 2015 Devotional—Day 2

On February 19, 2015 By

God’s Word As Refreshment

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving […]

Continue Reading

Lent 2015 Devotional—Day 1

On February 18, 2015 By

A Good Place To Begin

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on […]

Continue Reading