“But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head,” Psalm 3:3.
David’s description of God’s protection from his enemies is as an old-fashioned, Irish, bare-fisted boxing match: “thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly” (verse 7). It did not take long for David’s enemies to learn not to fear him; rather, they feared David’s God who protected him. However, the precursor to this psalm was one of David’s favored sons, Absalom, who was taking the kingdom from his father by military coup.
Absalom was a man’s man, David’s kind of man, a handsome warrior-type with nine pounds of hair. At one time David may have even contemplated favoring Absalom to be the next king of Israel. In spite of Absalom’s rebellious spirit, David showed him much favor. All the while Absalom was pretending to serve his father, he was planning treachery.
In this psalm, David was running from his own son, praying to God to save him from Absalom’s destruction. “I cried . . . I laid me down and slept” (verses 4, 5) shows David’s complete confidence in God to help him. However, when David learned that Joab had killed Absalom and left him hanging in a tree, he screamed out in anguish of soul, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Sam. 18:33).
God the Father saw the travail of His Son, hanging on the cross as the sinner, and He was satisfied. At the same time, He knew it was His beloved, Only Begotten, hanging on the tree of death, His perfect sacrificial Lamb.
IN OTHER WORDs
Oh love that will not let me go, bind my wandering heart to Thee.