This is a very short Psalm – but quality of content is not determined by quantity. As part of God’s word, every letter comes from God’s own mind, and is important. David wrote this when he fled from his son, Absalom. The fear of enemies is strong, and when the enemy is your own son, it is mingled with bitter sadness. Absalom led a revolt against his father, forcing David to run from the royal city.
In this Psalm we see that enemies of God and Christians tend to increase in number and hatred, rather than diminish! It has always been so, because the genuine Christian is like a spotlight on unbelievers’ dark and sinful lives, so he is hated.
Though this is true, Christians are human and fear can sometimes take over the soul. Only those who have never known true fear piously say we should have no fear, or that we should simply sit quietly and let the enemy do his worst. David, a mighty warrior and king, often knew fear! He never hid behind the ‘evangelical smile’, pretending all was well. No, he told himself, and the world, how he felt. But, as always, after he expressed his fears or doubts, along came his reassurance, as the Holy Spirit allowed him to offload his anxiety, only to know God’s peace afterwards.
Do not pretend. Tell God how you truly feel… you may as well do so, because He knows anyway! The Spirit will comfort you, because Jesus told us He would.
LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
Sometimes, when we are suddenly opposed by an enemy of any kind, we fondly think he is the only one. If we observe what happens, we will find that this sole enemy is supported by many more, all baying for your blood. This is how Satan arranges it; he makes sure that if you are to be targeted, it may as well be in a big way. When you stand firm, you will find many more enemies joining the first one.
And once you show your Christian intent, those enemies will grow rapidly. As with David “many are they that rise up against me.” As I have found in my own life, a large number of those enemies come from within the churches. Some are even saved, yet they love to meddle in your life and attack with others, because they think you are wrong and they are right.
Our enemies look for any advantage, and will strike as soon as they see we are defenceless. David had committed grave sins, and this is why he eventually lost his kingdom. Absalom’s revolt was part of the penalty paid by David. From the time David sinned so badly, he began to lose his grip on the kingdom God had given him, and David’s enemies could see what was happening. They were waiting to pounce, and they did, believing he was ‘finished’, a spent force in the Middle East. That is why they thought: “(There is) no help for him in God. And that’s that!”
When Christians fail and sin, they often stay sinning, because they have a sense of doom or guilt. Some think they have sinned too much for God to forgive them. Some even enjoy their sin for a season. David‘s predicament was the result of his sin, though he had long repented. We may well repent, but the consequences of what we have done can stay with us, perhaps for life. With David, God could not deal softly with his sin, because he was God’s anointed, a king of great magnitude. As such he was culpable not just before God, but also before the people. Therefore, God had to act and it took the form of David’s regal demise.
In my own life my later enemies came together in one big conspiracy to bring me down, which they did. Then, they came again and again, thinking I was finished. Christians (or so-called), too, thought I was finished, and thought my demise was due to my sin and that it was a sign God was no longer with me. Many of them continue to think God is not with me, because I do not accept their brand of reformationism. They were all wrong, as He gave me far more than I have ever lost!
Likewise, David rejoiced: “But thou, O LORD, (art) a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” Whilst so many Christian or unbelieving enemies are so ready to grind us down, God is doing the exact opposite when we repent and rely on Him, being a shield, and lifting us up! He is our glory, friend and protector.
I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.
There is nothing wrong with calling out to God when we are anguished. If we are genuine, He hears us and responds. Selah – so be it. David called to God audibly. Though a small and lonely voice amongst humankind, David’s cry was heard by God in Heaven (the “holy hill”). The God Who knows every hair on our heads, also hears every groan we utter. Not only does He hear, but He answers. That is how David, while being hunted down by his own son, was able to say “I will not be afraid.”
David so trusted God for his safety that he slept well and awoke refreshed. As he said: “for the LORD sustained me.” God does not only save us from harm, but He also sustains us – gives us what is necessary. When we truly have faith we will not be afraid, even of tens of thousands of enemies whose only wish is to see us brought down. In my own case, I know many wish to see me leave this earth… but I also know that when I do I will enter paradise until Heaven will be my abode. The number of enemies is irrelevant when we have our God before us! Only the man with genuine faith can say he is not afraid in the face of tens of thousands of enemies, or even one enemy. Today, we are seeing the formation of those tens of thousands of enemies of God, getting ready to come for us. They are already crying out for our demise, politically and religiously. Now is the time to get your faith in order, before it happens.
Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
David calls out, “Arise, O LORD; save me O my God”! This is a true prayer, for David means it. He also knows that God WILL save him. Only real prayer will receive real answers! Do YOU pray real prayers? Or are they the usual dull, lifeless and secretly untrusting prayers everyone utters? Think hard and get it sure in your own mind and heart, or fear will be your lot when the enemy comes to your door.
We see that David had no problem with trust – he had faith that God would not just answer, but that he has already answered! In my life I have discovered that when I pray it is always after God has already sent an answer! Thus, God attacked the enemies of David even before he sought help. The same happens to us. He will smash the faces of the enemy in a frontal assault, and break their teeth as they continue to stand against Him. Only God can give us this salvation, this help from Heaven. In this way we know we have His blessings. So be it!
Do you honestly believe all this? You should, because no-one else can help when enemies attack. God will crush them completely. All you have to do is trust, pray fervently and truly, and wait for the answer. We must not call out in anguish “WILL you save me?” but must call out in faith: “You WILL save me!”
© August 2010
Published on www.christiandoctrine.com
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