“O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me” (Psalm 3:1).
David writes Psalm 3 in the midst of his battle with his own son, Absalom. His consuming thought is the growing number of enemies that surround him. They hate him and accuse him saying, “There is no salvation for him in God” (3:2). Yet, at the climax of this passage, David writes, “I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around” (3:6).
David’s courage was not a sustained belief in the power of himself. He did not search for his inner strength. Rather, David looked outside himself. David looked to the promises of God’s faithfulness to sustain him. The Lord was his shield and the lifter of his head (3:3). David even relied on the Lord to wake him in the morning, “I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me” (3:5).
The theme of looking outside yourself for strength that runs throughout the Psalms should instruct the Christian life. When Satan or our own flesh accuse us and say, “There is no salvation for him in God,” we must not look to our own accomplishments or holiness. Rather, we look to Christ. We look to the faithful, saving promises of the Lord in the Gospel.
The Gospel also gives peace to the mother of three small children, who is overwhelmed at the constant needs of her little dependents. She can know and the Gospel reminds her that her sins are forgiven, she is reconciled with God, and even the calm of a tranquil home cannot satisfy her the way the joy of the Lord can. She can say with the psalmist, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound” (Psalm 4:7). Praise God for his faithfulness and the triumph of his Gospel, even for the strength to change the next diaper!