Many people would say that the meaning of Psalm 3 is a prayer of trust to God. I would agree. We see this theme woven throughout this Psalm of David.
David wrote Psalm 3 during the time when he was fleeing from his son, Absolom. You can read more of this story in 2 Samuel 15. Basically, David’s son had succeeded in rebelling against him and convinced many of David’s trusted friends to join ranks with him against his father.
David’s enemies were multiplying and all hope seemed to be lost.
Meaning of Psalm 3
This Psalm conveys David’s grief over his son, but also his unwavering trust in God. David’s words show his complete dependence on God for deliverance and salvation.
Meaning of Psalm 3:1-3
Lord, how my enemies have increased! Many are rising up against me. Many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.” But You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.
- Increase: to cast together, increase in number, multiply by the thousands
- Shield: (figuratively) a protector, scaly hide of a crocodile, armor
- Glory: weight, (figuratively) splendor, honor, riches
- The word “multiply” is the same root word when God told mankind to “multiply” the earth, and when God promised to “multiply” Abraham’s descendents.
In his distress, David cried out to the Lord! How often do we turn to other people, or other things, before crying out to the Lord in our times of need? He is the one we must run to first.
This declaration of the Lord as a shield is common, especially in the Psalms. It symbolizes the protection we have from God during times of trouble.
I also especially loved how David referred to God as his glory! This word was often used to describe the ‘weight’ of a person’s reputation and honor. David believed his significance was directly tied to his relationship with the Lord.
Are we finding our identity and our value within our relationship with God and in all we have been given through faith in Him?
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I was crying out to the Lord with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
“I lay down and slept” is a poetic way of illustrating confidence in God to provide safety and security. A person who is anxious and fearful usually has a hard time sleeping peacefully.
This shows us that our confidence in God to protect us does not depend on our circumstances. No matter what enemies are surrounding us, we can remain confident that God will be our shield and defense.
Meaning of Psalm 3:7-8
Arise, Lord; save me, my God. For You have struck all my enemies on the cheek; You have shattered the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the Lord; may Your blessing be upon Your people!
We saw in verse 4 that David cried out to the Lord. Now beginning in verse 7, we see what he specifically prayed for. His plea was focused on two things.
Arise and save.
I’m so thankful to serve a God who hears the pleas of His people from His holy mountain. He hears from Heaven. The final verse of this Psalm reminds us of the important truth that our God is a God of salvation. He can be trusted to save and deliver His people.
Psalm 3 Devotional
As I was reading this Psalm I was considering David’s enemies. David was facing many physical, tangible enemies.
Many of the enemies that we face today aren’t just physical. They are also spiritual. Emotional. Mental.
Enemies of fear, doubt, anxiety, hopelessness. There are seasons when these enemies seem to multiply until their joined forces appear to be unconquerable.
These are the moments when we must remember that the Lord is our shield and the lifter of our heads. His love, goodness, and protection do not depend on our circumstances. We can trust Him, fully, with every detail of our hearts.
We can cry out to Him with the confidence that He hears and He will save and deliver us from all our enemies in His time and in His way.
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