Psalm 3

Foes without number press upon the speaker. Prayer is his refuge. Calmly he sleeps. His fears are gone. Speak, Lord, that thus our hearts may ever rest.

1. "O Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!"

The first scene shows the monarch flying from his heartless son. Absalom advances with rebellious hosts. The outcast father looks upon the swelling billows of foul treason. Increasing numbers hunt his life. He sees, and he appeals to God.

Here, also, our Jesus may be heard. The powers of darkness are combined. Hell and its legions terribly assail. Wicked men do their worst wickedly. On all sides troubles multiply. Many voices cry "Crucify." The servant follows in the suffering path. The true believer often will but moan.

2. "Many there are who say of my soul, There is no help for him in God."

Affliction has the aspect of desertion. Many reason that God's favor surely would disperse these clouds—His voice could quickly scatter all the ills. David thus persecuted seems to be cast off. Here is the scoff of Calvary. "He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him. The thieves also, who were crucified with Him, cast the same in His teeth."

3. "But You, O Lord, are a shield for me; my glory and the lifter up of my head."

In darkest days faith shines with brightest glow. In the wild storm it looks to God and sings. No weapon can succeed against it. God, even God Himself, surrounds His children as a shield. The shaft which touches them must pierce through God! Welcome, also, reproach and ridicule and scorn. No disgrace can soil their name. They are renowned among the sons of men. Their glory is their God. No billows can submerge them. God, even their own God, lifts up their heads. From deepest waters Jesus rose to God's right hand. Where the Head is, there too shall the members be.

4. "I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill."

The voice of the insulting foe may loudly cry; but faith outcries. It has direct admission to the courts above. The blood-bought way is ever open. The interceding Spirit prompts the appeal. The mediating Son presents it. The Father on His throne receives it. Heaven opens, streams of answering blessings flow down. No case is desperate to him whose call can bring almightiness to his aid. Here is our Jesus. In the days of His flesh, He offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, unto Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared.

5. "I laid down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me."

The battlefield and the besieged fort present no downy couch. The alarms of war invite not to repose. But GOD is a pillow to the head of faith! David lies down, His sleep is sweet. He arises with renewed strength. But deeper truth sounds in these words. Jesus calmly falls asleep. The new-made grave receives Him to its bed. On the third day He casts off sleep. He appears and testifies, God did not leave My soul in hell, nor suffer His Holy One to see corruption. So, also, believers fall asleep in Him. Short is the night of death. Soon shall they awake and shout, "O grave! where is your victory? O death! where is your sting?"

6. "I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround

me on every side."

Faith is a fearless grace. It has quick ears to hear the voice of Heaven. It quickly catches the often repeated word, "Fear not, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God." Let man come on, boastful of numbers, and vain-glorious in the arm of flesh; faith meets the hosts, strong in the Lord, making mention only of His name. The victory is sure. Jesus never lost a battle. No follower of His will ever fall.

7. "Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God; for You have smitten all my enemies upon the jaw; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly."

Grace marvelously works. It begets fearless confidence. And confidence begets increasing prayer. Trust knows no fear, and shuns presumptuous indolence. It grows more importunate in prayer. It gives no rest to God. It knows its safety; and therefore it cries, "Save me, O my God." Past experience supplies both arguments and hope. You have brought shame and confusion on all vaunting foes; therefore, now arise and save.

8. "Salvation belongs to the Lord; Your blessing is upon Your people."

Triumphant is the final chorus. It tells of God rich in salvation. Salvation is His property. He willed it. He provided it. He holds it. He gives it according to His sovereign purpose. It is deliverance from every peril. It is exaltation to the heights of heaven. His blessing ever rests upon His people. It gives them all things and never fails. Lord, save us, and we shall be saved. Bless us, and we shall be blessed! Amen.