Psalm 3: Fighting Lies

Sometimes it feels foolish to trust God.

I can’t remember a time when an external enemy mocked my faith, but I have had a number of experiences with an enemy inside my own head. I’ve heard the inner voice that mocks, you fool… he isn’t listening…he won’t answer…you don’t deserve his help…he’s going to let you down, because you have let him down so often.

When Mark and I were trying to decide if we would move across the country to attend the Pastor’s College and join Sovereign Grace ministries, we were filled with fears. Was this the right decision? How would we pay for it? Would there be a place for us to serve later? How would Becca handle a cross country move her senior year?  We were coming to the point where we needed to make a decision. En route to the Leadership Conference, I closed my eyes to shut out fears and found myself praying.

Oh, Lord, I know I need to trust you, but I feel so afraid.  I feel like we are going out on a limb and it’s going to come crashing to the ground.  I’m scared I’ll be put to shame.

I had no sooner finished praying, then the words, “Those who trust in the Lord will not be put to shame,” popped into my head.  Where did that from?  Oh yeah, Psalm 25.  I memorized that last year.  Didn’t know it stuck.  I turned to it and read the whole Psalm, feeling the panic subside with every verse.

We reached Maryland, rented a car, fought traffic and walked into the first meeting as the singing began.  How amazing to hear the words, “Those who trust in the Lord will never be put to shame”!  The room rang with the words of Psalm 25.  The Holy Spirit had wanted to make sure I took that truth seriously by telling me twice, from within and without.

Same message, different Psalm.

Psalm 3 is much shorter, but packs the same punch.  What do you do when you’re in trouble and no one seems to think God will help you?  Here are some questions to help you dig into it.

First reading, hear the voice of David.

1. The heading identifies the author, David, and the situation, “when he was fleeing from Absalom.” Read 2 Samuel 15:1-12 for background. How specifically was David being sinned against?

2. Back up and read 2 Samuel 13 and 14.  How did David bring this situation on himself?

3. Read Psalm 3. How does David respond to this situation?  What were his:

  • Thoughts? (see 2 Samuel 16:8 for the taunts of his enemies)
  • Feelings?
  • Affirmations of faith?
  • Prayers?

4. What was the effect of David’s faith in the LORD even though his circumstances hadn’t changed?

Second reading, hear the voice of Jesus.

1. When did Jesus experience enemies? Betrayal by a friend? Mocking and jeers that God had abandoned him?  See Matthew 27:39-43.

2. As a man Jesus experienced the full range of human emotions.  Read the Psalm slowly from his perspective. Which verse surprises you most?

3. Was Jesus tempted to fear?  Did he have to exercise faith? How does that thought encourage you?

4. What would verse 8 have meant to him on the cross? After the resurrection?

Third reading, hear your voice.

1. What circumstances in your life make this Psalm seem relevant to you?

2. What are your feelings? Temptations?

3. Read v. 3 out loud several times. Look up these cross references: Psalm 28:7, 84:9, 27:5-6.

4. Pray v. 7 in fellowship with Jesus the man and Jesus your High Priest.

5. Proclaim v. 8 in fellowship with David and David’s greater Son.

Remember to pick a verse or even just a phrase to meditate on this week.  You never know how the Holy Spirit might use it in your life someday…

6 comments on “Psalm 3: Fighting Lies

  1. Nichole says:

    thanks for the helpful perspectives on God’s wrath. It is good to be reminded of this aspect of the God we worship. I think it makes us take the gospel more seriously. I actually just pulled The Holiness of God of my bookshelf about a month ago and read part of it. But I should probably pick it up again. Thanks Meredith.

  2. Meredith says:

    Thanks Rondi, for leading us through the Psalms. What a great place to start my day!

    I was chewing on verse 3 where it says, “But You are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.” And then I thought of the stoning of Stephen in Acts. The “shield” that God promised to be for Stephen had allowed the stones to pass through, strike and kill him. That really sobered me this morning. God allowed this severe trial, but didn’t leave Stephen to endure it alone. When v. 3 says, He will “lift up my head,” and that is where Stephen was sustained. “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” That vision of the glory of God and of Jesus enabled Stephen not only to endure being stoned to death, but to have mercy against his enemies, “While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed…’Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he said this, he fell asleep.” Wow. And while at that moment Stephen was insulted by enemies and angry people, now his life is recorded for the world to see and be encouraged by. It is amazing to think of how many generations of believers have been encouraged by his testimony. That we too can “life up my head” and see Jesus in our trials.

    But what about when our eyes are closed? v.5 says, “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.” My study Bible note says of this verse: “Even while his own watchfulness is surrendered to sleep, the watchful Lord preserves him.” So whether we have the presence of mind to “lift up my head” or not, He will sustain us – no matter what! What great truths to start my day with! Thanks again Rondi!

    • rondi says:

      Thank you for sharing this lovely meditation, Meredith. A great way to start my day, too….

    • Lissa says:

      Yes thank you Rondi for leading us in Psalms. It has been such and encouraging time to read it and such rich blessings from it! Thank you Meredith for sharing that meditation. What a great and awesome fear that puts me in. A sobering one for sure, thinking about what God’s shield is to us may be different than what I would want it to look like! Yet he is there, it is Him!

  3. Lissa says:

    This morning I was reading on in 2 Samuel ch 15 further about the background of psalm 3 and I was struck by 15:30, David had fled Abslaom, fled Jerusalem “But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered…” I was thinking about as the Lord was there with David in his moment of fleeing, how he was Davids shield and he was more present than David could have ever seen or imagined. I picture the Lord whispering to David, “Oh my son, I too will make this lonely, sad walk one day, but my walk will lead to your salvation, take heart for salvation does belong to me and my blessing will be on my people.” what an amazing thought thinking about Christ then making his long and lonely walk to Mount of Olives and being reminded of his faithful servant generations back who made the same walk! How great to think about our Lord being right beside us even when it is in fire or storm!

    • rondi says:

      Wow. So true and so beautiful. Thank you for sharing what the Spirit showed you.