Read Psalm 3.
I love the simplicity and directness of this psalm. David first explains the context of his prayer. He is fleeing from the army of his son, Absalom, and faces judgment and death from his enemies. However, David quickly combats his enemy's proclamation that "there is no salvation for him in God" by comparing the Lord to a shield. David is rejecting the idea that God has left him, but instead clinging to the truth of the Lord's protection. Not only that, David realizes that his value and worth is found in God alone. This is such a valuable example of how to respond in the face of judgment. So often we listen too much to the world, and not enough to God's truth. As Christians, we know we will face persecution. But David does not entertain those ideas for one second, but immediately states truth. When there are times of doubt, suffering, or oppression, how powerful is it to simply state the character of God? Acknowledging definitively that he is sovereign, loving, and omnipresent.
This passage also speaks to me because David mentions sleeping, and how he was able to wake up feeling refreshed due to his trust in the Lord. Anyone who knows me knows that I love sleep. I am the type of person who can easily sleep 12 hours if given the chance. But also, I can think of many times where something was causing me to be stressed or upset, but after a good nights sleep by the next day that problem didn't seem as daunting. In this context where David is literally fleeing from an army, the idea of him being able to stop, take time to sleep, and wake up feeling rejuvenated seems quite surprising. But again, David understands the Lord, his character, and his promises. There is a resignation that some situations are too great for David to conquer in his own strength, and simply taking time to rest in the Lord will provide peace.
Finally, David praises the Lord for saving him from his enemies with some vivid imagery. And in an explicit contrast from what his enemies stated in the first verse, David states "salvation belongs to the Lord". This speaks so directly to what we have been talking about in Matthew these past few months. Jesus calls out the religious groups who think they know who the Lord will deliver and how one can acquire deliverance. And I think Christians can fall into this line of thinking more often then we care to admit. When, in all honesty, God is the only one who grants salvation, and the only one who truly knows who has received it. I will say it again, David recognizes the character of God. He sees the Lord's perfect justice, and knows that any blessing is from the Lord.
This week, be mindful of those times you may be paying too much attention to other voices. Ones that tell you you're not worthy, that question your value, or even ones that question your devotion to God. Remember the ways David contests his fears and worries. Also, get excited about sleep. My husband makes fun of me because every time I get into bed I have a huge smile on my face and breathe the biggest sigh of relief. Take that time before bed to ask the Lord for peace when you awake, and praise him for designing our bodies to need emotional, mental, and physical rest. And finally, meditate on the phrase "salvation belongs to the Lord", and how this speaks to the nature of God who loves you.
-- Christine Luter