Ever had a season when it seemed like everything and everyone was coming against you and the only thing you could do was to head for the hills? David had a few of those seasons, some caused by outright persecution and others were of his own making.
Psalm 3:1-2 – “O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, ‘There is no salvation for him in God.'”
David wrote this psalm while on the run from his son, Absalom. In the latter years of the king’s life, he harvested bitter fruit resulting from his failure as a parent. By not mentoring his sons the way a father should, David failed to address their character flaws through word and example, resulting in incest, rape, and murder. And finally, the ultimate betrayal; the successful coup orchestrated by his unrighteous and evil son.
David felt the weight of shame, guilt, frustration, and fear on his shoulders as he and his household, and the remnants of his trusted inner circle, made their way out of Jerusalem. Not only was David’s family torn apart, the whole of Israel felt the ramifications of their king’s dereliction of parental duty.
It was enough to crush a man, but David knew what to do. He reminded himself of this truth. He had a loving God to turn to, the same God who not only forgave his previous sins of raping another man’s wife and murder but who, upon David’s godly sorrow and deep repentance, blessed him with his son, Solomon. David built a lifetime of knowing and trusting in Yahweh’s character and protection. He knew where to turn. He declared his trust in God.
Psalm 3:3-4 – “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill.”
Even in the shambles of his life, David found rest and safety in the Yahweh’s sheltering presence.
Psalm 3:5-6 – “I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.”
David wisely invited God into his mess, and God silenced the voices of his enemies.
v 7-8 (ESV) – “Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the Lord.” I like the Passion Translation’s spin on this verse: “Rise up and help me, Lord! Come and save me! And you will slap them in the face, breaking the power of their words to harm me. My true hero comes to my rescue, for the Lord alone is my Savior.
No matter what led you to the mess you might be in as you read this, know that there is a Redeemer you can turn to. Silence the voice of the enemy by tuning in to God’s truth about you. Grace, forgiveness, and redemption are readily available. They are just a sincere prayer – and a deliberate turning away from what got you in a mess in the first place – away.
Remember you have a great cloud of witnesses cheering you on; there is no such thing as a Walk of Shame in God’s kingdom. Amongst that cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews 12 are the heroes of our faith mentioned in Hebrews 11. However, make a mental note of the following observation. The writer of Hebrew 11 does not count the moral failures and weaknesses against those inductees in the great “Hall of Faith Heroes” of Hebrews 11.
Allow God’s approval to drown out the voices of the enemy and keep your head high, fixed on the goal set before you.
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
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©2020 Katherine Walden