“From the Lord comes deliverance.” Psalm 3:8a
One of the saddest episodes in the life of David was when his son, Absalom, plotted against his father to gain control of Israel’s throne. The story is found in 2 Samuel 16:20-19:8. Today’s five understandable words were written after David fled from Jerusalem as Absalom was entering to depose him. The entire story is full of drama that seems to far fetched to be true, but many times the truth is stronger than fiction.
There are two perspectives given in this psalm: the first is that of Absalom, his co-conspirators, and his army. They believed they could take both the capital city and the nation in a swift military coup. There perspective is articulated in verse two: “God will not deliver him.” David recognized the situation as serious, for many foes had risen against him. Such is the case in the halls of power. Those who are underlings see an opportunity to advance their status by siding with those conspiring for control. They believe history smiles on those who at one point are seen as confederates, and then, after victory, are considered patriots. Their duplicity compels them to smirk at established authorities and dream of their own exaggerated significance.
David, the warrior-king, had both perspective and experience on his side. His faith perspective provided plenty of fuel to trust God for His intervention in re-establishing David’s rightful place as king:
“…you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.” (v.’s 3-4)
There is great peace in strength, and David’s strength was deeply rooted in God’s sustaining grace, allowing him to even sleep soundly while thousands are in pursuit of him. (v.’s 5-6) David is so certain that God’s hand is close for his rescue, that he is triumphant in calling upon God’s deliverance, just as God had shown Himself faithful in years past: when David slew the lion, the bear, and even a giant named Goliath. Time after time, David’s faith experience pointed his heart to God’s faithfulness to deliver the one who had a heart for God and His Kingdom. David even likens his enemies to the wild beasts he faced in his victorious challenge that God: “Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.” (v.7) A wild lion or bear with a broken jaw and no teeth is much less a threat. It is from the vantage point of one who has walked by faith for years that David is able to clearly articulate the second and eternally stronger perspective found in today’s five understandable words:
“From the Lord comes deliverance.”
But David wasn’t only thinking of himself. He was confident in his life appointment by God to be a blessing to the nation in bringing stability and peace… a peace which his son, Solomon, enjoyed throughout his rule… the only lasting peace Israel has ever experienced in their national history. It was with that forward look when God breathed into the heart and mind of David to write: “May your blessing be on your people.”
Those who trust in God’s providential care may whisper the same mantra of today’s five understandable words, knowing God seeks to bless those who embrace His righteousness. When facing adversity or horror, allow God to breath these five words through your heart and mind… stay focused on God’s deliverance, for only HE is able to accomplish what concerns each of us today.