I got this message from a friend on Facebook this morning:
If you’re reading Psalm 3 today, you might want to read II Sam. 15-19 to get the rest of the story.
So, of course, I looked up “the rest of the story,” the very sad story of David and his beloved, rebellious son, Absalom.
A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
3 But you are a shield around me, O LORD;
you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
4 To the LORD I cry aloud,
and he answers me from his holy hill.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
6 I will not fear the tens of thousands
drawn up against me on every side.
7 Arise, O LORD!
Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the LORD comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
Selah is a mystery word. It may be a musical notation, or an instruction to “stop and listen,” or something else entirely. I like mysteries.
What happened with Absalom and David is no mystery. Absalom, David’s oldest son and heir, decided that old dad wasn’t running things the way Absalom thought he should. So Absalom became a politician, handing out favors and talking about what he would do if he were king. And the BIble says, “Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.”
Then, when Absalom’s popularity was at its height, he gathered his friends and sycophants together and took over the kingdom, driving David out of his palace and making him a fugitive for the second time in his life. When David was young he ran away from Saul and waited for God to fulfill His promise to make David king. Now, in his old age, David runs away from Absalom and waits for God to vindicate and defend him.
And sometime during this time of dishonor and uncertainty and danger, David wrote Psalm 3, a psalm of faith and courage and assurance.
What I learned: When everything looks dark and hopeless, God is still in control. I can lie down and sleep and leave the world and all its nonsense and evil intentions and complications to Him. He sustains; He answers in His time; He delivers.