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Psalm 3

Trust in God under Adversity

A Psalm of David, when he fled from his son Absalom.

1

O Lord, how many are my foes!

Many are rising against me;

2

many are saying to me,

“There is no help for you in God.”Selah

 

3

But you, O Lord, are a shield around me,

my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.

4

I cry aloud to the Lord,

and he answers me from his holy hill.Selah

 

5

I lie down and sleep;

I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.

6

I am not afraid of ten thousands of people

who have set themselves against me all around.

 

7

Rise up, O Lord!

Deliver me, O my God!

For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;

you break the teeth of the wicked.

 

8

Deliverance belongs to the Lord;

may your blessing be on your people!Selah


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Ps 3:1-8. For the historical occasion mentioned, compare 2Sa 15:1-17:29. David, in the midst of great distress, with filial confidence, implores God's aid, and, anticipating relief, offers praise.

1. Lord … increased—The extent of the rebellion (2Sa 15:13) surprises and grieves him.

2. say of my soul—that is, "of me" (compare Ps 25:3). This use of "soul" is common; perhaps it arose from regarding the soul as man's chief part.

no help … in God—rejected by Him. This is the bitterest reproach for a pious man, and denotes a spirit of malignant triumph.

Selah—This word is of very obscure meaning. It probably denotes rest or pause, both as to the music and singing, intimating something emphatic in the sentiment (compare Ps 9:16).

3. But—literally, "and" (Ps 2:6). He repels the reproach by avowing his continued trust.

shield—a favorite and often-used figure for protection.

my glory—its source.

lifter up of mine head—one who raises me from despondency.

4. cried … heard—Such has been my experience. The latter verb denotes a gracious hearing or answering.

out of—or, "from."

his holy hill—Zion (Ps 2:6). His visible earthly residence.

5. the Lord sustained me—literally, "will sustain me," as if his language or thought when he laid down, and the reason of his composure.

6. ten thousands of people—or, "myriads," any very great number (compare 2Sa 16:18).

7. Arise, O Lord—God is figuratively represented as asleep to denote His apparent indifference (Ps 7:6). The use of "cheekbone" and "teeth" represents his enemies as fierce, like wild beasts ready to devour (Ps 27:2), and smiting their cheekbone (1Ki 22:24) denotes violence and insult.

thou hast broken—God took his part, utterly depriving the enemy of power to injure.

8. An ascription of praise to a delivering God, whose favor is an efficient benefit.




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