“But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head” Psalm 3:3
Heads need a lifting often because “… they are increased that trouble me! The opposition thickens and becomes a countless number squeezing in on me. They assemble and try to convince me that God will not help me” (my paraphrase of Psalm 3:1-3).
They gang up on me. They magnify the pressure. They try to load on my shoulders what only God could carry.
It can be a shocking thing to realize a true enemy. David had to acknowledge his own son as his enemy. This is extremely sad. Author of Psalm 3, David faced a “no-win” situation; defeat the enemy — lose your son; or, concede to that enemy– lose your kingdom. This combination weighed down his head, persecuted his hope, pushed depression, drove despair.
However, 2 Samuel 16 tells a unique story. As David flees the city, he is met by Ziba, who has supplies and provisions from Saul’s son, Mephibosheth. Taken into his home by David, Saul’s son was given rights as his own son. His gifts David receives readily. Next, however, David meets one Shimei. This one curses at David, throwing stones as he goes. David’s servant offers to behead Shimei, but that does not happen. Here we get a glimpse of David’s meek heart. He forbids any retaliation but instead evaluates the cursing of Shimei as an act of God.
“…let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him. It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day” 2 Samuel 16:12
Unoffended, or reactionary, David meekly accepts his destiny as at the hands of God. Yes, this quality of seeing the hand of God in all of his goings, relates to his words in Psalm 3.
“But God shields me, defends me, reinforces my value in Him, and through His Word, re-establishes my finished work position in Him. My head is lifted to see Him, look away from myself, to again rejoice in His love for me” (my paraphrase ).
Do we see it? Not a victory in the overt circumstance. In fact, David’s situation with Shimei implied disgrace. Nevertheless, the victory lies in the sphere of God, God’s mercy, God’s ultimate safe dwelling place, His insulated presence. David’s true sanctuary in the storm.
In closing, David exclaims,
I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about (Psalm 3:4-6).
Friends, when we draw nigh unto God, He will draw nigh unto us. Peace and rest resulted for David. Fear quelled, assurance and hope get established.
“Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah” (Psalm 3:6-8).
Our enemy has been defeated at the Cross of Calvary. Our God saves. And blesses, too.