Last week we looked at the background to Psalm 3; this week we will be looking at the actual text. Psalm 3 is a four verse hymn in Hebrew.
Stanza 1 (3:1-2) Betrayal and enmity
David has been betrayed by his son and every moment more and more people turn against him. Jesus experienced the same thing. Not only did Judas betray Him, but all the adoring crowds that shouted praises at His entry to Jerusalem turned and shouted for His death. Jesus is very clear that if we follow Him we can expect the same treatment. Rejection, hatred, enmity, and betrayal is exactly what we should expect as we go through this life. David and Jesus were both told that even God had turned against them. We should expect no less. We will be told that we are on the wrong side of history, God has turned His back on us, God is opposed to what we are doing, etc. The word Selah has a much disputed meaning. From all appearances though it means to take a musical pause and meditate on the previous words. We should take time to let the hatred of the world sink in.
Stanza 2 (3:3-4) God’s protection
After taking time to contemplate the hatred directed against us, we now must contemplate the protection of God. How often has He shielded us and lifted us up when we were sore pressed? How often have we gloried in His deliverance? God has heard our prayers even when have yet to see them answered. This is something that we should meditate on, especially in the midst of our trials.
Stanza 3 (3:5-6)Confidence in God
It is interesting to note that the third verse of this Psalm (verses 5-6) is the only verse that does not end with Selah. This would be natural though after the previous times of meditation. After thinking about man’s hatred and God’s deliverance the conclusion would naturally be a strong confidence in the Lord for the present circumstances. As we think back on all God has done, this should strengthen our faith and lead us to be encouraged with a strong confidence in God.
Stanza 4 (3:7-8) The ending prayer
The Psalm ends with a cry to God for deliverance. In this prayer, David points out how God has delivered in the past and how all salvation is found in God alone. He closes with a prayer for God to bless His people and then meditates on these things. We must turn our eyes towards God in the midst of our trials. Also, we must not become so consumed with our suffering that we neglect our concern for others, specifically the people of God.
Take time to meditate on mankind’s hatred of God. Is it any wonder that they do not like you? If the world gets along with you, what does that say about your walk with Christ?
Take time to meditate on God’s deliverance. How has God come through for you in the past? Has the God Who rescued you in the past changed? Isn’t He hearing your prayers right now?
Do you have a confidence in God? If not, meditate on what David says in Psalm 3.
Are you crying out to God for deliverance? Are you trusting in Jesus for salvation? Have you become selfish in your suffering so that you have neglected to seek God’s blessings for others?