What does Psalms 3 mean?
David's son, Absalom, began a violent revolution. He even contemplated sending a 12,000-man army to kill his father (2 Samuel 17:1–3). Only the interference of David's ally prevented that overwhelming assault from happening (2 Samuel 17:15–16). That was the background for this prayer of David.
David begins by expressing the trouble he faces. His enemies are vast in number, and increasing in their power and influence. Beyond that, it seems David's peers are suggesting he's been abandoned by God. The situation seems bleak. Other people are telling David to give up and accept his doom (Psalm 3:1–2).
However, this is not the first time David has faced dire circumstances. Many times, he has trusted God to carry him through danger. Faced with those struggles and threats, David slept soundly knowing God was entirely in control. This present trouble, for David, is no different. Even though there are—literally—thousands of people against him, his faith is not shaken (Psalm 3:3–6).
Based on that conviction, David prays for God to deliver victory over these enemies. The imagery here is graphic, picturing a devastating blow that shatters an enemy and leaves them incapable of fighting back. Confidence based on experience shines through in David's prayer over his dangerous situation (Psalm 3:7–8).
Psalm 3:1–6 discloses David's plight, arising from the violent coup being waged by his son, Absalom. David's enemies abounded and mocked him. Those around David said God would not deliver him. Psalm 7 complements this passage by expressing David's concern that his enemies constantly assault him. Despite their opposition, David trusts in the Lord as his shield and deliverer. He anticipates God's judgment on his enemies. The mockery expressed in Psalm 3:2 is similar to that of those who crucified Jesus (Luke 23:35–37).
Psalm 3:7–8 ends David's prayer with a specific plea and an expression of confidence. David was surrounded by many foes, sent to kill him by his own son, Absalom (2 Samuel 15—18). Yet David recognized the Lord was on his side and would deliver him. He knew that salvation belongs to the Lord. The Lord would eventually answer David's prayer by delivering him from this desperate situation (2 Samuel 18:31–32).
David cries out to the Lord while being pursued by many enemies. Others are telling him the situation is hopeless, that he cannot be delivered from his trouble. However, David testifies that the Lord is his shield and deliverer. He says the Lord answered him from the site of Mount Zion. This answer to prayer led to a good night's sleep and confidence that he had nothing to fear from his many foes. He closes the psalm by declaring that the Lord had slain his enemies in the past and would do so again. The Lord would strike down David's enemies with crushing blows to the head. He knew the Lord delivers those who trust in Him, so he asks the Lord to bless His people.
Psalm 3 finds its background in David's flight from his rebellious son Absalom (2 Samuel 15—18). David had fled from the palace in Jerusalem and was hiding in the desert. This psalm is closely related to Psalm 4, both of which were written by David when he was a fugitive from Absalom. It is the first psalm in the first division of Psalms (Psalm 1—41) that is specifically ascribed to David. In this division only Psalms 1, 2, 10, and 33 do not bear an ascription. David's expressions of confidence in the Lord to protect him from his enemies are also seen in Psalms such as 25, 27, 28, 31, 35, and 41.
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
Accessed 12/6/2023 11:24:45 PM
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