Wednesday, August 30, 2006

God's certainty in uncertain times...

Psalm 3:1-8
A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
O Lord, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me.
2 Many are saying of my soul, "There is no deliverance for him in God." Selah.
3 But Thou, O LORD, art a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
4 I was crying to the LORD with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah.
5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustains me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about.
7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God! For Thou hast smitten all my enemies on the cheek; Thou hast shattered the teeth of the wicked.
8 Salvation belongs to the LORD; Thy blessing be upon Thy people! Selah.
what an amazing psalm! you can see that i have broken it down in basically four sections...
  • Section 1: (vv.1-2) - its what i call the 'realization' stage. the realization of oppostition & preceived abandonment. you've been there. ive been there. at times it appears that no-one understands, no-one stands alongside you, no-one comes to your aid... in fact, everyone is against you, and you are alone. perhaps its actual adversity... perhaps its perception. when you are there, it just doesn't matter. you walk with a sense of hopelessness and lonliness.
  • Section 2: (vv.3-4) - its what i call the 'remembrance' stage. so many times we enter these situations with our eyes on ourselves or the circumstances. its hard to notice anything else. and then... we look up. oh yeah! God is still there! listen to how the psalmist describes the presence of God: (a) a shield around me (b) my glory (c) the one who lifts my head (d) He answered me... in the midst of the chaos - God provides steadiness. not only does He protect (shield), but He comforts (lifts my head) and He listens (He answered me). what a sweet picture of God.
  • Section 3: (vv.5-6) - its what i call the 'rest' stage. when you get your eyes off of self & the circumstances that you are going through, and place them on our loving Savior... rest is sure. the psalmist states clearly that he laid down and slept, then awoke with the sure knowledge that it is the LORD that sustains him. a couple of things on this: (a) you don't sleep in the midst of chaos, unless you know its controlled chaos. the circumstances didnt change for the psalmist. he just knew, and remembered, that God was indeed still in control. (b) the rest is sure, and complete. the indication here is that the psalmist slept well because the LORD was watching over him. (c) did you notice that the word "LORD" remains in all caps? remember yesterday when i explained who that was? LORD is referring to YHWH (Yahweh) - the holiest, most sovereign name of God. in psalm 2 we are told to worship/serve Him in fear. in this passage this most awesome, mighty God is our protector, comforter and provider! isnt this encouraging?
  • Section 4: (vv.7-8): its what i call the 'rejoice' stage. awakened with renewed strength, the psalmist declares the victory that would be achieved through his reliance on God. he rejoices in the fact that his salvation from the adversity is certain. the passage is concluded with the statement that all people who have the LORD as their salvation are blessed.

think of this today:

in what areas are you facing adversity?

have you looked to God and called out to Him?

have you remembered the protection and goodness of God?

will you accept the sweet rest that is offered in our LORD?

will you rejoice and tell others of this goodness?

be blessed my friends,

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