Hello Good People,
I'm going to start a devotional on Psalm Three today, one verse at a time. Feel free to add your own thoughts, comments, additional insights, etc.
Here's verse 1 and some thoughts:
Ps 3:1 LORD, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me.
Scholars attribute David’s lamentation here in Psalm 3 to the trouble he was having with his son Absalom. You remember the story; David's own son was undermining his rule and authority as king by turning people way from him and then drawing them to himself. The problem had gotten to the point where Absalom had succeeded in turning so many against David that he was forced to leave Jerusalem. David was feeling the intense pain caused by this betrayal. It was a case of extraordinary family treason. Could there be anything worse than having those whom we love the most turn against us. And as if it’s not bad enough, to have them then draw others in the same direction constitutes an extreme violation of trust.
As one who has been there, done that and gotten the “Thank God I survived” T-shirt, I know that this is a difficult area in which to exercise forgiveness. When, for better or worse, you’re doing the best that you can to serve the Lord, and the very ones you’ve entrusted to undergird you try instead to bury you one whisper, innuendo and implication at a time… to say the least, it hurts. It can really tear you apart.
And yet, we see David, the man after God’s own heart, never lose his love for his beloved betrayer, Absalom. When the news came of Abalsom’s untimely death, we find one of the most poignant scenes in the Bible in 2 Samuel 18:33
“Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: "O my son Absalom — my son, my son Absalom — if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!"
It’s a Christ-like love indeed. Jesus not only wished that He could have died in our place, but He absolutely did so. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5:8). Though we were lost in our sins, enemies of God and His kingdom, Jesus demonstrated an incredible love for us by going to the cross and dying a horrific death on our behalf.
Yes, David was indeed a man after God’s own heart. Imperfect…very much human, but above all, he had this "love thing" right. If we could only get the love thing right, it would cover a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). For David it seems, love did just that.
No one ever said that love doesn’t hurt. Here in Psalm 3, we feel David’s pain, and yet knowing how his heart refused to go with the normal temptation to hate, resent and ultimately become bitter, we also sense the great victory as it was in the making.
Is your love-pain making you better or bitter? Are your feelings of betrayal being responded to in the overcoming power of the Christ-like love that covers sins? Or perhaps your reaction is more the carnal norm, where sin begets sin and the only thing we cover is ourselves…..burying ourselves under it rather than rising above it. Rise up O man, Rise up O woman. The Lord is both with you and for you!