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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Psalms 3

Verses 1-8


Verses 1-8:

This Psalm of David concerns his experiences in his flight from Absalom, his son, as recounted 2 Samuel 15:16; 2 Samuel 16:14; 2 Samuel 17:15-29; 2 Samuel 18:5; 2 Samuel 18:29; 2 Samuel 18:32,

Verse 1 bewails the increased number of pretended friends who had turned traitor against him, with Ahithophel and Absalom as their primary leaders, 2 Samuel 17:1; 2 Samuel 17:1; 2 Samuel 17:21-24, ets., op cit.; as Ahithophel, David’s trusted counselor rose up and betrayed him, so the "familiar friend" of Jesus, Judas Iscariot rose up, came out, and led a motley horde against Jesus, as afore-prophesied and recounted and fulfilled, Psalms 41:9; Luke 22:53. When David fled from Absalom he crossed over the brook Kidron to mount of Olives. So Jesus crossed it on the night on His treacherous betrayal, 2 Samuel 15:12; 2 Samuel 15:30; Matthew 26:30; Matthew 27:35; John 18:1.

Verse 2 asserts that many there were who said to David, or of his soul, that there was (existed) no help or salvation for him in God, because he trusted in God. They believed that Absaolm was certain to seize the kingdom from David, and that David’s God offered him no security; Selary This is a musical pause, used in Hebrew poetry to call for a compete silence of all voices, for meditation upon or digestion of what had been said, often while musical instruments played on. It is a foreview of the cynical taunts or cries of the betrayers and tormentors of Jesus, who at His crucifixion cried, "He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him," Matthew 27:43. They thought that God gave no attention to earthly affairs, Psalms 10:11; Psalms 22:7-8; Psalms 42:3; Psalms 42:10-11; 2 Samuel 16:8.

Verse 3 is a cry of David, a testimony of his commitment of his life and soul to the Lord, as his shield, his protector, even as He was to Abraham, Genesis 15:1; And to Israel, Deuteronomy 33:29. So did Jesus Christ commit Himself to Him that judges righteously, 1 Peter 2:23; 1 Peter 5:7 Proverbs 3:3-5. David added that God was his "lifter up" to glory; He had lifted Him from the sheepcote to be anointed as king, and from persecutions of Saul and He was certain that he would lift Him up from Ahithophel and Absalom’s resolve to destroy him, 2 Kings 23:27; Psalms 27:6; Psalms 110:7. Even so, prophetically, our Lord was lifted up from the tomb after three days, to be glorified, assuring the ultimate "lifting up," glorifying of all the righteous, Genesis 40:13; Romans 8:11; Philippians 3:20-21.

Verse 4 relates that David cried to the Lord, as he repeatedly did in hours of crisis need. He cried "with his voice," as well as from his heart; An heart prayer, unexpressed in the voice, is in danger of degenerating into dreamy musings. While words without sincerity of heart are hypocritical. Silent prayer only, without emotional, vocal expression is inadequate for life’s trials. Hebrews 5:7 declares that Jesus, in the days of His flesh, "offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears, unto Him that was able to save him from death, and was heard." God responded, lifting up his head in the resurrection, v.3; Romans 8:11. David then declares that the Lord, the covenant keeping Jehovah, heeded his prayer (crying), out of His holy hill of Zion, where He had promised to "dwell for ever," Psalms 132:13-14. There follows the second "selah," a pause for reflection and meditation.

Verse 5 further relates that David had not only laid down and found peaceful sleep in times of past trials but that he also, in faith, expected to find the same sweet sleep in Jehovah’s care through his present trial of Absalom’s betrayal, Psalms 4:8. As he had been divinely protected and sustained to rise after former dark nights and cloudy days of trial, so he trusted to do so through his present trial, Leviticus 26:6; Acts 12:6. See also 2 Samuel 17:1; 2 Samuel 17:16; 2 Samuel 17:22; 2 Samuel 17:24. Note our Lord’s sleep in the midst of the storm, Mark 4:38; Mark 4:40. While waiting for His sleep in the tomb He prayed, "Father into thy hands I (voluntarily) commend my spirit," Luke 23:46, Psalms 23.

Verse 6 witnesses, testifies that David had resolved not to be afraid, shook up, or "come unglued," of ten thousands (an innumerable number of people), who had set themselves in array against him; This refers to the "many" of v. 1, 2. In the will of God men are not to fear what men may do to them, in the sense of being hindered from going on in the will and work of the Lord, Exodus 14:13; Psalms 56:4; Psalms 118:6; Luke 12:32; Hebrews 13:6.

Verse 7 is a night-time cry of David for Jehovah God to arise, come to his rescue, and deliver him, to show his taunting enemies, v.2 that He is the living, covenant God of David’s trust. David’s prayer is based on his faith or confidence that the God who has smitten his enemies upon the "cheekbone," slapped them down in humiliation in the past, will also come to his rescue and defense in this hour of need, Hebrews 13:5; Psalms 34:7; Psalms 145; Psalms 18, 19.

Verse 8 concludes that salvation, deliverance, or liberation belongs to, is possessed by the Lord; and it is dispensed by Him only, John 2:9; Proverbs 21:31; Jeremiah 3:23; Acts 4:12; Revelation 7:10; Revelation 19:1. This is in contrast with the taunting assertions and insinuations of David and our Lord’s enemies, v.2. Then David reasserts that the Lord’s blessing is upon His people, His redeemed in particular. David’s concern is for his people Israel, as surely as for himself. For he believed that the Lord had given them to him as His convenant people, to lead and to shepherd, 2 Samuel 24:17.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 3". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.