Thursday, October 29, 2009

Despair or Declare?

Psalm 3

v1-2 1 O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; 2 many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God.

Is this despair? Or is it a declaration on the basis of hope? In light of the rest of the Psalm, I think it is a declaration to ward off despair. We have two options when trouble arises:
  1. Despair
    • Lose hope
    • Give up

  2. Declare
    • Take hope
    • Have faith
I believe David fights off despair through declaration to God. This admits two things:
  1. God is the answer
  2. There is hope
v3-4 3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. 4 I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill.

This is a past tense statement while the opening two verses are a present tense statement. In other words, David is showing why he had hope in his declaration: he recounts the past when God answered his cry. Note the progression...
  1. God his his shield (safety)
  2. Glory (adornment)
  3. Lifter of my head (joy)
Similar to the progression of the Gospel:
  1. God saves
  2. Imputes glory
  3. Our joy is the result
Basically, the Gospel is our reason to cry out to God rather than fall into despair. He has proven that He can save us, shower us with glory, and bring us joy.

v5-6 5 I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. 6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.

Now we have another progression. David sees God as sovereign in v5 and has courage in v6. This is the practical application of the Gospel. If God can save you and bring you joy then he must be trusted with control over your life. Realizing this brings a wonderful mixture, as we see from David, of comfort and courage. He had comfort in his rest and courage against his foes. We have comfort resting in Christ and courage to face our enemies.

v7-8 7 Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. 8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people!

The conclusion that came from David realizing the reality of God's sovereignty and goodness culminates in v7-8. David asks to be saved on the basis of God's victory over his enemies. In other words, to recap... David is in trouble, cries out to the Lord in hope, sees that God is sovereign and good in his protection, and David concludes that salvation belongs to the Lord.

The Gospel: Man realizes his trouble > Cries out on the basis of God's victory and power > God saves

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