Our church experienced an agonizing loss when Paul, our gifted worship minister, died at the age of thirty-one in a boating accident. Paul and his wife, DuRhonda, were no strangers to pain; they had buried several children who hadn’t made it to term. Now there would be another grave near the small graves of these little ones. The life-crushing crisis this family experienced hit those who loved them like a knockout blow to the head.
David was no stranger to personal and family crises. In Psalm 3, he found himself overwhelmed because of the rebellion of his son Absalom. Rather than stay and fight, he chose to flee his home and throne (2 Samuel 15:13–23). Though “many” considered him forsaken by God (Psalm 3:2), David knew better; he saw the Lord as his protector (v. 3), and he called upon Him accordingly (v. 4). And so did DuRhonda. In the midst of her grief, when hundreds had gathered to remember her husband, she raised her soft, tender voice in a song that expressed confidence in God.
When doctors’ reports are not encouraging, when financial pressures won’t ease up, when efforts to reconcile relationships fail, when death has left those we cherish in its wake—may we too be strengthened to say, “But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high” (v. 3).
How did you respond the last time you found yourself in an overwhelming situation? How does knowing God is a shield around you help?
The book of Psalms is Israel’s poetry and songbook that captures the human experience and emotions of the psalmists as they seek to trust God in the midst of life’s struggles and pains. Psalm 3 is the first of fourteen psalms that David wrote in response to a specific event (7; 18; 30; 34; 51; 52; 54; 56; 57; 59; 60; 63; 142). The superscription to Psalm 3—“When he fled from his son Absalom”—tells of David’s crisis when his son usurped the throne, forcing the king to flee because he’d be killed if he remained in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15:13–14). Despite the danger and threat to his life, David was fully confident of God’s protection, deliverance, and sustenance: “I lie down and sleep. . . . I will not fear” (Psalm 3:5–6). David experienced the “perfect peace” promised in Isaiah 26:3 that comes through trusting God.