1 ¶ <<A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.>> LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
4 ¶ I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. (Psalm 3)
This psalm of David, written on the occasion of his flight from his traitorous son Absalom, affords us an opportunity to identify with a truly god-fearing man in our own often adversities and sore conflicts.
The righteous do not always march forward victoriously. They do not always shout with the voice of triumph and joyously sing the song of the conqueror. They, at seasons, find themselves fleeing from the massing hordes of enemies like this sorrowing and mourning monarch. He who sat on the throne yesterday is today fleeing for his life while the cursing Shimei flings dust and rocks at him.
Adversaries sometimes multiply themselves. They increase. At what time we hope for respite, woe piles upon the top of other woes. We scarcely have heard about one until news of another assails us. The significant word here is many. Many trouble us. Few or none comfort us. Many rise against us. It seems everyone has jumped on the bandwagon of persecution. Let one chicken in the yard get a bleeding wound, and all the other chickens will quickly peck it to death. If this is a shame in worldly circles, what a disgrace it is among professed people of God! Many there are who say, “There is no help for him in God.” Men either say this because they believe that there is no help in God for anyone . . . that God is only an illusion, a fanciful prop for the weak and foolish. Or they say it because they believe God has now forsaken their victim, and that He will not defend him against their vicious attacks.
All of this clamors to take away the faith of the God-fearing man. Shall he cast away his faith because many have turned against him and declare that there is no help for him in God? Never! Not for the God-fearing man. He fears God and no one but God. “But thou O Lord.” His God is only One, though his oppressors be many. God is a shield for me. Arrows may fly from a hundred directions. The one shield of God is sufficient to thwart them all. God is my glory. Though men rob me of my crown, my throne, my possessions, my home, my family, they have not yet touched my glory; for I glory in nothing but the God of my salvation. God is the lifter up of my head. God will be my ultimate victory. He will restore me. “There is a lifting up in honor after shame, in health after sickness, in gladness after sorrow, in restoration after a fall, in victory after a temporary defeat” (C. H. Spurgeon).
Our defeat and flight, our retreat, is temporary; our victory, permanent and final, for the Lord has heard our cry.