“Psalm 3 - "A Morning Prayer"”

Categories: Daily Living, David, Devotion, Expository Study, Faith, Jesus Christ, Old Testament, Prayer, Psalms, Song

Psalm 3 “A Morning Prayer” 

The context of Psalm three surrounds the time when David was running from Absalom (II Sam. 15-18). I find it comforting and humbling to see David throwing himself on God’s mercy in this psalm. He cries to God concerning his enemies. Though David is king, he does not write words to the effect that he will exact revenge on his enemies (Ps. 94:1-2; Nah. 1:2-3; Deut. 32:35; Prov. 24:29; Rom. 12:17, 19)! Instead, he writes a psalm praying to God for forgiveness and that God would “smite” or “slap” (The Israel Bible) his enemies so hard that He will break their teeth (v. 7)!

Psalm 3 reminds me of Psalm 23 at times. For example, in both songs, David speaks of his enemies and how God will deliver him. In the case of Psalm 3, David’s enemies tried to discourage him and told him God would not help (v. 2). Yet, he knew the truth and knew when he cried to God, God heard him (v. 3-4), sustained him (v. 5), and defended him (v. 7). Why was David so confident? It was because he knew the source of his salvation (v. 8. Dear Christian, if you are discouraged, hurt, and insulted, please read Psalm 3 and be reminded who sustains, defends, and has saved you (Rom. 15:4)!

“Salvation (deliverance, TIB) belongs to the Lord” is what we learn in Psalm 3:8. David maintained his focus in a time of hardship, confusion, and hurt that arose from his own family. This statement is repeated when Jonah was swallowed by the great fish (Jonah 2). I find it interesting and not at all coincidental that when Jonah was suffering, he, like David, knew where to turn (Jonah 2:9)! Yes, salvation is of the Lord! It belongs to Him! If I am going to have any kind of deliverance, I need to turn to the Lord, not away from Him!

- Jarrod M. Jacobs

P.S. In this psalm, we are introduced to the word “selah.” This word is seen throughout the Psalms. It is an archaic word, so old that folks have argued about its meaning for centuries. Perhaps it is a rest (just as we have “rests” in our music), crescendo, or similar musical direction. If you like, as you come to the word “selah” in your reading, rest! If this is the instruction, do not ignore it! Pause and reflect on what you read. Take it in and then proceed to the next section.

Other scholars suggest that “selah” is to be sung in the psalm. They say its meaning is similar to “amen,” or “hallelujah,” as a word of praise or exhortation. If this is the case, when you read “selah,” pause, reflect, say “Amen!” or “Praise to Jehovah!” and then continue reading with a refreshed and focused mind. See how it changes how you read this inspired poetry.

Whatever this term means, please pay attention to it as you read the psalms and note where it is written. I think the word placement (context) reveals much about this word.