Bible: What Does Psalm 3-7 Teach Us About Trust, Biblical Meditation, and Salvation From Evil?
Psalms 3-7: Focus and Meditate Upon the LORD; Deliver Us From Evil
Focus on God
According to the Hebrew superscription, David wrote this psalm while Absalom was pursuing him (See II Samuel 15:13-17).
The king’s prayer expresses dismay at the increased number of his enemies who assert that God is no longer on David’s side (v. 2b).
Following the Selah notation, however, David has adjusted his focus, shifting it from his foes to his LORD.
Now he is not afraid because he knows that God will not only protect (i.e., shield) and encourage him (i.e., lift up his head), but He will also answer his prayer (vv. 3-4).
Assured of His salvation, the psalmist sleeps soundly, professing his freedom from fear though overwhelming numbers may still be against him (vv. 5-6).
He cries out for the LORD to crush his enemies and thereby gain a victorious salvation for His people (vv. 7-8).
[What a difference it makes when you take your eyes off your distressing circumstances and place them on the LORD!
Truly knowing that He is on your side is a glorious comfort indeed]!
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David acknowledges that God had relieved him from previous distresses in life, so now he prays that he might benefit from His mercy again (v. 1).
Turning toward his enemies, he rebukes them for their continual antagonism that results from their love affair with worthless things (idols?) and lies (v. 2).
Verse 3 may serve a dual purpose:
(1) to remind himself, a godly man, that God will answer his prayer, and
(2) to admonish his enemies that God will answer his prayer.
In other words, he instructs himself on how to handle his present turmoil.
With this spiritual self-talk, David seeks to sublimate his anger through constructive meditation upon the Person of the LORD, thereby comforting himself (v. 4).
Selah seems to indicate that after this prayer, he will be able to praise and trust the LORD (v. 5).
In response to complainers among the people, David prays that God would show them His goodness (v. 6).
He himself has experienced a spiritual joy that far exceeds any happiness the people could feel, even in the midst of a boon harvest (v. 7).
His reliance upon the LORD's protection enables him to sleep peacefully (v. 8).
[As in Psalm 3 where David redirected his mind to think about God rather than about his troubles, so here he uses the normally destructive energy of anger to deal positively with his problem.
In both cases, he chose to turn from focusing on his trials to remembering his relationship with God and his knowledge of His character.
Biblical meditation is not a mindless emptying of oneself, but a cognitive rememberance filled with meaningful, theological content].
The Apostle Paul
Total Spiritual Inability
Do you acknowledge the spiritual and moral inability of mankind?
The Moral Depravity of Mankind
David asks God to hear his morning prayer, and then he anticipates the answer of his King (vv. 1-3).
He contrasts God's disposition toward both wickedness (taking no pleasure, v. 4) and the wicked (hatred and abhorrence, vv. 5, 6) with that which He maintains toward the godly (mercy, v. 7; guidance, v. 8).
The wicked boast (v. 5), work iniquity (v. 5), lie (v. 6), and murder (v. 7), while the righteous (among whom David numbers himself) depend upon the LORD’s mercy; they reverence and worship God (v. 7), and pray that He may enable them to walk in His way (v. 8).
The Apostle Paul borrows from this psalm to describe the moral depravity of the speech of the wicked (v. 9; cf. Romans 3:13).
In light of the evil of his enemies, David issues an imprecation against them, asking God to allow their wisdom to fail; he also desires that the LORD reject and condemn them for their sin and rebellion (v. 10).
On the other hand, he exhorts believers to rejoice in God because of His protection and blessing (vv. 11-12).
[While David seems to have only the wicked in mind regarding the evil of the tongue, Paul characterizes the whole of humanity as suffering from this plague (Romans 3). See James 3 as well].
Prayer of Restoration
The psalmist David, guilty of some unspecified transgression, pleads that God's chastening hand would spare him (vv. 1-2a).
He complains that his physical and spiritual distress has lasted too long (vv. 2b-3), and therefore asks to receive the LORD's saving chesed (covenant love), so that he may continue to give thanks to Him and not die (vv. 4-5).
Great physical and emotional pain continues to characterize his daily life (vv. 6-7).
Knowing that God has heard his prayer, David warns his enemies to leave him alone (vv. 8-9), and he even expresses desires that trouble should come upon them (v. 10).
[When he sins and is out of fellowship with God, David relies upon the LORD’s covenant faithfulness to come through in the end to restore him].
Trust God for Deliverance from Evil
David, again under persecution, entrusts himself to God's speedy deliverance (vv. 1-2).
So convinced of his innocence is he that the psalmist confesses his willingness to face death at his enemy's hand if he has committed unnecessary violence (vv. 3-5).
David asks God to rise from His place and render judgment against his enemies for His people's sake (vv. 6-7).
After affirming the fact that God will judge the peoples, the psalmist entreats the Lord to vindicate him (v. 8):
"Stop the ways of the wicked, but test the just; defend them, save them, and cause the righteous to stand firm" (vv. 9-10).
God, the Heavenly Archer, readies Himself to slay the wicked who do not turn from their sin (vv. 11-13).
Verses 14-16 portray the wicked as “catching” the evil that they planned to inflict on others. As a fitting conclusion, David praises the LORD for His justice (v. 17).
[A familiar pattern of deliverance from enemies begins to appear].
© 2013 glynch1