A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son.
The title of Psalm 3 tells us of the context in which it was written. This, the first prayer of the Psalter, was offered as David fled his own palace in the dead of night, in order to run from an army of thousands that had been horrifically gathered together by his son, Absalom. Detailed in 2 Samuel 15:13-16, David’s own son had rebelled and stolen the hearts of the men of Israel from David. Prayer originates in the midst of trouble, in the midst of humanity recognizing that his only hope is in His God. Psalm 3 is a prayer of faith, offered with expectation and confidence, not worried about how it might appear or sound; it is a prayer filled with passion and truth.
In verse 1, David first expresses a sense of being overwhelmed with his present circumstances. It is one thing should trouble come from outside, but when it comes from within, from someone close, the hurt becomes nearly unbearable. However, at the end of verse 2, his mood changes with the little word Selah.
The precise meaning of Selah varies depending on who you hear teaching on it, most seem to think that it is a musical pause – to rest and observe and meditate carefully before you move on. Some theologians believe that Selah means ‘lift up the mood, sing more loudly, pitch the tune to a higher key, re-tune your instruments.’ How wonderful, whether it be a silent pause in meditation or a verbal expression praise, that it is after theSelah, we find David with a new found confidence that God is his shield – his protection (v. 3). And again after crying out to God (v. 4), a second Selah leads David into a sweep sleep (the peace of God), for he trusts in the Lord; he is confident that the hand of the Lord is upon him. Anxiety would certainly have kept him up all night keeping watch for his enemies, but even in this place, far his palace in the dead of night, he knew that God was with him and would protect him.
Read Romans 5:1-5. Do you have peace? What is your peace dependent upon? Are you glorying in tribulation? Realize that it is with tribulation that the authenticity of your faith is tested. In Matthew 13:20-21 the one, who, though he received the word with joy, was tested by tribulation, immediately stumbled. What trial are you facing today? Has it driven you to Christ through prayer or to stumbling in anxiety and stress? Though this world may be filled with devils who threaten to undo you, can you lie down and sleep and awake, knowing the Lord has sustained you (v. 5-6)? Do not fear for,salvation belongs to the Lord (v. 8). Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1-2). Selah. Pause, lift up your heart and meditate upon this doctrine. Do you know this experimentally?
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