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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Morning Manna | Psalms 3 | I cried unto the Lord with My voice

Psalms 3:1-8

1 A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. 2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. 3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. 4 I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. 5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. 6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. 7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. 8 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

Some of the sweetest portions of Scripture have come from the most crushing moments in the life of its authors. Paul wrote many of the Epistles from a Jail cell, Moses wrote the 1st five books in the wilderness with a rebellious nation, and today our chapter comes from the heart of David when he is fleeing from his son. God takes pressing circumstances to squeeze out the bitterness of men's hearts and then when they are wrung dry he fills them with joy and peace. The Psalm has three divisions, each marked at the end by "Selah." We must look at the whole psalm as it shifts from minor notes to major notes, from sad bitter tones to peaceful resting tones, and then to triumphant tones.

The first division of our Psalm is all about the hurts David has experienced. The whole Psalm reminds me of our prayers, so often our hurts and trials are so large in our sight that we can't see or think of anything else. We know it is proper to come to God with thanksgiving and then to pray for others first but when we are pressed out of measure oftentimes we lead with our hurts. Daivd's issue was no small one, "how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me." He doesn't just have a son against him but now much of the nation is against him. So it has been with us at times, when there is not one thing burdening us but it seems that there is the one big thing and with it, a thousand other things have joined in to press us out of measure. This is no time for niceties with the Lord. Like David entered boldly into the throne room so should we, notice how he opened his prayer, "LORD." That is Jehovah! He cries to God boldly, so should we in such times, drop all the nice speeches and rehearsed prayers and enter boldly before our almighty God because he has not only bid us to but has commanded us to "Come boldly before the throne of grace." 

In verse 2 David reveals what seems to be the one thing that bothers him the most, what they have said, " Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God." David was cut to the quick by these words, I'm sure this was not the first time someone, or Satan, or even David's own heart had whispered this line. I wonder if Satan watched David's response to this line. To see how he pained at these words and when he saw that this line injured him above all others he put out an alert to his minions and all the men who would do his bidding and said "Here it is, this is the hot brand that will hurt him most." That is speculation but I would not be surprised, I have found that Satan has a way of finding out those words, issues, and weaknesses of ours and those are the very fiery darts he will send our way. Now this part of the Psalm comes to an end, David has cast his care upon the Lord, He has come boldly before the throne of Grace, his burdens have found a harbor and there is nothing left to pour out. Selah.

A new Stansa begins but with brighter tones, it is as if the music in the first Stansa was in the dark but now the tones have changed and the light is beginning to break in on David's Soul. What is this light? It is the true light, the Lord himself comes into view, "But thou, O LORD." That phrase is enough in itself, there needs nothing more to be said. Through the pouring out of David's soul, he remembered who he was speaking to, Jehovah. The all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present God. Although he could have stopped here he doesn't. He recalls that this God is his shield, his buckler, this word has a deeper meaning than just a one-directional shield but a buckler that shields in every direction. No matter which way the arrows fly he is wrapped up in the Lord. Absalom's arrows, the people's, and even Satan's cannot reach him for he is in the Lord. He says the lord is "My glory." His glory had been tarnished, he was marching barefoot up Mount Olivet while this Psalm was stirring in his heart, his son attempting a coup, and all the glory of his kingship seemed to be tarnished, yet none of this was his Glory. The Lord was his Glory. Who had brought David from the sheep fields to the Palace? It was the LORD, who had set him among princes? It was the LORD. Now that same LORD has brought him to the wilderness. All the circumstances of life had changed, but the LORD had not and he was just as Glorious as he ever had been, therefore the Glory of David, The LORD, had not faded one iota. Then he says he is the "Lifter up of mine head." Many hurtful thoughts and anxieties had weighed down David's head, now they have all been cleared and David's head, by the help of God, by the remembrance of Who he is and what he has done and will do, has been lifted. He sums up this stanza with our verse today, "I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. So it can be with you heavy hearted Christian, Come, cast your care upon him, in so doing you will be reminded of who you are speaking to and his power to save. Cry to him even "With your voice." The voice of David's enemies had pierced his heart but David's voice had pierced the heavens, for "He heard me out of his holy hill." What an amazing statement, that our voice can reach the throne of heaven, the holy hill. Our music is fading to almost nothing, only the softest notes can be heard now, realization is giving way to rest, Selah.

Our last stanza opens with the peace and rest, that is the result of pouring our hearts out to God. That is what we needed in the first place, we need God to remove those burdens and through our pouring them out to him they have been lifted, then to soothe our vexed minds and tired frames, he reminds us of his power, his protection, our heart is fixed with that phrase "But thou, O LORD." That alone is enough to bring rest to our tired minds, that the mighty God, has "butted in." The rest is to an end though, rest is for renewed strength, so we see the Psalmist's eyes are opening, he awakes to reality now, the storm has gone and reality is that he has lived to see another day. The Lord has "Sustained him." Too often we live in nightmares of probabilities, we fret what is coming, what others will say, and what tomorrow holds, and then we wake up to find that Satan had us living in a nightmare of falsehoods, and the reality is The LORD has sustained us, his mercies were new this morning same as last, and every other morning before. 

Our notes are gaining volume and progression, rest has given way to reality, and now reality is giving way to faith, "I will. not be afraid of ten thousand people that have set themselves against me round about." The reality for the Christian is that God is our shield, our strength, he fights for us, goes before us, comes behind us, wraps us up in his person, we need not fear 1o million men that set themselves against us.But note carefully why David did not fear these men because they have set themselves against David. Why should we fear men's schemes? If they have set themselves against us, and it was not God who set them against us then what have we to fear? I remember David falling before Samuel, trembling and pleading, God had set Samuel and his message against David and he had every right to fear, yet now when there are 10,000 men, in their own power set against him he is as bold as a lion. Dear Christian, fear not any amount of men, small nor great if they come against you in their own power with their own agenda, The LORD is our shield. 

I believe verse 7 is the crescendo of this psalm, the loudest and most glorious moment of the song. This time David cries once again but not a cry of distress, not a pouring out of his hurt, but he cries "Arise, O LORD." Like a soldier calling for backup, he is now ready to fight once again, his strength is renewed, and he can face the sea of backbiters, but not in his strength. He calls on the God who has delivered him in times past, he is ready to fight, but by faith, that is to rely solely upon God to continue. "God has smitten all my enemies on the cheekbone, thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly." I wonder how many times by the hand of David men's teeth had been knocked out and their faces crushed? I know that is rather explicit, but he was a warrior and he was not fighting for pride but to rid the land of child-sacrificing idolaters. Many times his hands had carried out the death sentence upon the nations of wicked men around them, yet he accredits this to the LORD. It had been the Lord who had caused him to triumph in days gone by, and again it would be the Lord to strengthen his hands to the battle again. So it is with us, we aren't done fighting yet, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, we are in a spiritual battle. A war against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Wipe the sleep from your eyes, Call on the God who "always causes us to triumph," pick the sword and fight again, by faith. 

The last stanza of the psalm is closing the music has faded again to softer tones, one last reminder before the song ends, "Salvation belongeth unto the Lord, thy blessing is upon thy people." These are the words the Holy Ghost saw fit to leave us with. Here is a message for our heart pockets. We cannot save ourselves, not from our sins nor our circumstances, if there is any saving that must be done then that work belongs solely to the LORD. This is an encouragement, we can't save ourselves from anything, and yet there is nothing that he cannot save us from. Our sins were far more deadly than the 10,000s of men who had risen against David. We had an army of sins risen against us, and on every one of their swords was written death and hell, Christ came and took every one of them for us and rose victorious, that is the great victory of all, other battles are nothing but squabbles. His blessing will be upon his people, truly it was his blessing, but it is given freely to us. He wins the battles and we enjoy the victories. Selah.    

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