Psalm 3

Psalm 3
An Evening Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies
Psalm 3 – 7. These Psalms form a progression, illustrated by the various stages of a 24-hour day, from one morning to the next. The expressions get deeper as the series progresses. In Psalm 3, the psalmist is viewed in the morning; “I laid me down and slept; I awaked”. (This may be an indication of the prophetic awakening of Israel.) It is a day of persecution and trial that the psalmist is about to face, foreshadowed by David fleeing from Absalom. In Psalm 4, the psalmist is viewed in the evening; “in peace will I both lay me down and sleep” (Psa. 4:8). In Psalm 5, the psalmist is viewed in the night, looking forward to the future morning; “in the morning shalt thou hear my voice; in the morning will I address myself to thee, and will look up” (Psa. 5:3). In Psalm 6, the psalmist is viewed weeping all night; “all the night make I my bed to swim” (Psa. 6:6). In Psalm 7, the psalmist is seen at dawn, asking the Lord to “Arise”, “lift thyself up”, and “awake for me”. In Psalm 8, a Messianic Psalm, the full light of day has arrived! Prophetically, this series brings us through the expressions of the remnant in the prophetic week, through to the appearing and reign of Christ!
Psalm 3. The historical context of this psalm is given in the inscription; “A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.” The suffering that David experienced as he fled from Absalom was extremely deep, especially because it came from his own son. As David fled from Absalom, he became aware of just how great the division was in Israel; “And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom” (2 Sam. 15:13). This is used by the Spirit of God to foreshadow the experiences of the Jewish remnant, as the persecution rises up against them from the apostate nation. In vv.1-2 the psalmist is looking around at the persecution, in vv.4-5 he is looking up in confidence to Jehovah, in v.6 he is looking ahead to the Lord’s deliverance in the future, and in vv.7-8 he is looking back, seeing the present from the future, through the lens of prophecy.
A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
1 Jehovah, how many are they that trouble me, many they that rise up against me!
2 Many say of my soul, There is no salvation for him in God. Selah.
3 But thou, Jehovah, art a shield about me; my glory, and the lifter up of my head.
vv.1-3 Persecution and Protection. The faithful transparently address God regarding the mounting persecution, here called “trouble”. The number of enemies is growing, and public opinion is that the faithful are doomed. The wicked torture the faithful with the thought that God will not save them. The word “Selah” means ‘stop and consider’. In spite of the severe persecution, the faithful have their confidence in Jehovah, who is view as a “shield” round about them. David was put to shame by Absalom, but he could speak of Jehovah as “my glory”. The Lord encourages the faithful in times of trial.
4 With my voice will I call to Jehovah, and he will answer me from the hill of his holiness. Selah.
5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked, for Jehovah sustaineth me.
6 I will not fear for myriads of the people that have set themselves against me round about.
vv.4-6 Confidence in Jehovah. The faithful cry out to the Lord, and He answers them. With full trust and confidence in the Lord, the faithful can lay down and sleep, like Jesus on the Sea of Galilee. Although “myriads” of enemies surround us, under the Lord’s protection we have nothing to fear! 
7 Arise, Jehovah; save me, my God! For thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheekbone, thou hast broken the teeth of the wicked.
8 Salvation is of Jehovah; thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
vv.7-8 Anticipation of Salvation. The faithful call on the Lord to “arise” and save them. All deliverance, and all blessing, can only come through the Lord. Notice the past tense; he is looking back, seeing the present from the future, through the lens of prophecy.1
  1. His confidence anticipates, and, in the spirit of prophecy, sees the end from the beginning. – Kelly, W. Notes on the Psalms.