Threatened but Trusting

1A psalm of David, when he fled from his son Absalom.*a


2How many are my foes, LORD!

How many rise against me!

3*How many say of me,

“There is no salvation for him in God.”b


4But you, LORD, are a shield around me;

my glory, you keep my head high.c


5With my own voice I will call out to the LORD,

and he will answer me from his holy mountain.


6I lie down and I fall asleep,

[and] I will wake up, for the LORD sustains me.d

7I do not fear, then, thousands of people

arrayed against me on every side.


8Arise, LORD! Save me, my God!

For you strike the cheekbone of all my foes;

you break the teeth of the wicked.e

9Salvation is from the LORD!

May your blessing be upon your people!f


* [Psalm 3] An individual lament complaining of enemies who deny that God will come to the rescue (Ps 3:23). Despite such taunts the psalmist hopes for God’s protection even in sleep (Ps 3:47). The Psalm prays for an end to the enemies’ power to speak maliciously (Ps 3:8) and closes peacefully with an expression of trust (Ps 3:9).

* [3:1] The superscription, added later, relates the Psalm to an incident in the life of David.

* [3:3, 3:5, 3:9] Selah: the term is generally considered a direction to the cantor or musicians but its exact meaning is not known. It occurs seventy-one times in thirty-nine Psalms.

a. [3:1] 2 Sm 15:13ff.

b. [3:3] Ps 71:11.

c. [3:4] Ps 7:11; 18:3; 62:78; Dt 33:29; Is 60:19.

d. [3:6] Ps 4:9; Prv 3:24.

e. [3:8] Ps 58:7.

f. [3:9] Ps 28:9; Jon 2:10.

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