Wednesday, 12 July 2017

A Spiritual Autobiography (Psalm 3)

Here, we have David's spiritual autobiography. God is saying to us, "What about you? Do you have a spiritual autobiography?" Here, we learn about David's distress and David's deliverance. God is saying to us, "Come to Me in your distress. Come to Me and receive your deliverance." This Psalm can be subdivided into four two-verse sections. 
vs. 1-2 - his complaint; vs. 3-4 - his confidence; vs. 5-6 - his security; vs. 7-8 - his prayer and his rejoicing. 
The Psalm begins with David's distress. Every one of us knows what this is like. We have been where David was. As we look at this Psalm, let's note how David handled his experience of distress. He took it out of his own hands. He placed it in the hands of God. 
vs. 1-2 : David's complaint was not addressed to man. He brought his complaint to God. It was not a bitter complaint, spoken against God. It was a humble and honest plea for understanding and help. In the context of worship, he offered his prayer to God. Forsaken by men, he clung all the more firmly to God. This Psalm became very meaningful to me at a time of complaint. I was wondering whether it was really worth continuing as a Christian. Unless I heard the voice of God, reassuring me, there and then, I felt that I was on the verge of turning back. My complaint was addressed to God. I spoke to God about my feelings. He spoke to me about His faithfulness. I read the first two Psalms. It seemed to me, at that time, that they had nothing to say to me. I read Psalm 3. I was given the grace to keep on going in the way of faith. What is God teaching us? - Let's be humble before God and honest with Him. Let's not take our complaints about God to men. Rather, let's take our complaints about men to God.Let's not speak against God. Let's speak to Him. Let's not allow our complaints to drive us away from worship. Let's keep on worshipping the Lord. Let's bring our complaint to the Lord. Let's bring it to Him as a plea for understanding and help.
vs. 3-4 : David's confidence can be summed-up in one three-letter word: GOD. God is his shield. God is protecting him from danger. God is his glory. God gives him true honour. David is convinced that the Lord will "lift his head." He didn't just turn to God because he was in dire straits. His whole life was rich in prayer and faith. - He had trusted God in the past. - He trusted God in the present. - He would trust God in the future. In my own time of testing, when I first came across this Psalm, I needed to be directed to God. I knew all about my own weakness. I didn't need to be reminded of that. I needed to be pointed away from myself to the Lord - my shield, my glory and the lifter of my head. That was what kept me going. He kept me going. "'Twas grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace shall lead me home." What is God teaching us? - Let's be constant, in faith and prayer. We're not to turn to God only when we face times of great difficulty. - Let's recognize our weakness. Let's turn to God and find our true strength in Him. 
vs. 5-6 : David's security lay in the assurance that God is greater than all his enemies. Remember the words of Scripture - "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4). "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). With such a faith, David was able to exchange his own weakness for God's strength. He was able to exchange his own fear for God's courage. The words of Psalm 3 lifted me. Just when I needed them most, these words were given to me by God. My response was to offer my praise and thanksgiving to God. What is God teaching us? - God is greater than all our enemies. God is greater than all our circumstances. 
vs. 7-8 : David's Prayer and Rejoicing - It's so important to note David's response to life's trials. He prayed. "What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer." Note the character of David's prayer. He prays for deliverance. He prays for salvation. His prayer is a personal prayer - "Help me, O my God." He prayed with assurance - "Deliverance belongs to the Lord." He prays for others - "Thy blessing be upon Thy people!" In my own time of testing, it was my reading of Scripture that sent me to my knees to pray with joy. What is God teaching us? Pray for salvation. Make it a personal prayer. Pray with assurance. Pray for others.

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