This Psalm features both concerns about the conditions of life and David's confidence in the provision of the Lord. The title block lets us know it is a Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom, his son.
In 2 Samuel 12 when the prophet Nathan confronted David about his sin with Bathsheba. The judgment came from the Lord………
- The sword would never depart.
- He would raise evil up from his own household.
- That evil one would lay with his wives in broad daylight
We see David fleeing Absalom in 2 Samuel chapters 15 thru 18 as these judgments came upon David. Absalom rebelled and raised a sword against David. Absalmom became that evil that rose out of his household. And Absalom lay with the wives of David. This was an act taking ownership of the palace and all that was David's. It was a total disregard for the kingship and authority of David.
When Absalom is killed in chapter 18, David was still grief stricken (See 2 Samuel 18:33).
The problem at hand for David……….
1 LORD, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
2 Many are they who say of me,
"There is no help for him in God." Selah
David was in a lot of trouble when he wrote this. His son led a successful rebellion against him. Many of the people he trusted had taken part in the rebellion and sided with Absalom.
Suddenly, in the eyes of David, his enemies aren't off on the distant horizon. They are all around him. He doesn't know who to trust. Many of the people are saying to him that there is no help for him from God. They probably didn't mean this as God can't help him. They likely meant God wouldn't help him. They felt David was getting what he deserved.
"If all the trials which come from heaven, all the temptations which ascend from hell, and all the crosses which arise from the earth, could be mixed and pressed together, they would not make a trial so terrible as that which is contained in this verse. It is the most bitter of all afflictions to be led to fear that there is no help for us in God." (Spurgeon)
Then David find comfort in the Lord………..
3 But You, O LORD, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
4 I cried to the LORD with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah
5 I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.
David had been through a lot in his life. This was the young boy who took down a giant. He isn't begging God to be his shield. David says that God is his shield; he had concluded that long ago. The enemy could be all around in whatever number they came, but in the end, God was his shield. God alone could shield him from whatever he came against. David was never at the mercy of a brutal enemy, even one of his own flesh and blood. David was only at the mercy of an awesome God…..a God who was full of mercy.
David cried out loud and God heard him. We can have the assurance that if God heard David, he will also hear us.
What a blessing sleep was in these trying times David was living in. He sleeps and wakes up because it is God's will. David was given the blessing of sleep because he had the comfort and assurance that he was in the hands of the Lord.
David knew he didn't have to fear the ten thousand who stood against him. His fate was in the hands of the Lord. David knew of the truth of Romans 8:31: If God is for us, who can be against us?
And then David Prays………
7 Arise, O LORD;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongs to the LORD.
Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah
'Arise, O Lord' is a military phrase used by Moses. See Numbers 10:35. It is asking the Lord to go forth to fight their battle and lead them. Also see Psalm 68.
The breaking of the teeth was total domination. David didn't just want or need saved from the enemy, he needed victory. Psalm 58:6 uses the metaphor of broken teeth……speaking of the lion having its teeth broke out. A lion wasn't nearly as menacing with all its teeth broke out!
David asks God to deliver him from his enemies (in KJV the deliverance is past tense).
God is on the throne.