“But you, O LORD, are a shield for about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head” (Psalm 3:3)
There is no part of Scripture that better represents the unedited experiences of life than the psalms. And there’s no better person to tell of those experiences than King David. Known as the “sweet psalmist of Israel”, he authored about half of the one hundred and fifty psalms. His psalms are a reflection of his life and are laced with a wide range of emotions. As we read David’s writings, it’s as though we’re looking in the mirror. The ups and downs he expresses, in many ways, are our shared experience. Psalm 3 is considered a lament. A lament is characterized by the psalmist opening up his heart to the Lord, honestly expressing grief over a difficult situation and thereby requesting His help. David had to be extremely disheartened at this moment. This was but one of many moments in which discouragement consumed him. Imagine having a child seeking to take your life. The historical setting for this psalm is recorded in 2 Samuel 15-18 and tells of when David fled from his son, Absalom, who conspired to overthrow his father as Israel’s king. Under siege and betrayed by his own son, David was at one of the lowest points in his life and definitely in need of the LORD’S help.
Have you ever been where David was in that moment, so shocked by events that grief overwhelmed you, making you believe that there’s no way out? During times such as these, too often our focus is only on what we see. We’re so busy looking at the circumstance that we fail to fix our eyes on God and trust in who He is. Many times in his own life, including this moment, David did the same thing. But it only lasted for a time. “But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head” David knew the LORD was his shield and the source of his glory. But in this psalm he also referred to Him as the “lifter” of his head. He recognized that the LORD was also his greatest source of encouragement, always there to keep his spirit from failing. Adversities in life come and go. David knew them well, but he also knew who he had in LORD. This deep abiding trust helped him to express faith in this moment of crisis. Adversities will come in your life as well. We may not like them, but they are a means that God uses to shape our Christian character. When these times come, know that the LORD will be there to protect and encourage you. Trust in His character, and be confident that just as He was with David, He will be there to “lift” your head. God meant it when He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Father, no matter where we are in our walk of faith, there are times when discouragement overwhelms us. David testifies to this very fact. But he is also testifies to your faithfulness in seeing him through those times. Thank you for all that you are: our shield, our glory and our encourager. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on you in our times of need. You are always faithful. Amen!