Psalm 3 - Abbot's Notes on the Whole Book of Psalms
The Third Psalm
A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
1 O Lord, how are my foes increased? against me many rise.
2 Many say of my soul, For him in God no succor lies.
3 Yet thou my shield and glory art, th' uplifter of mine head.
4 I cried, and, from his holy hill, the Lord me answer made.
5 I laid me down and slept; I waked; for God sustained me.
6 I will not fear though thousands ten set round against me be.
7 Arise, O Lord; save me, my God; for thou my foes hast stroke
All on the cheek-bone, and the teeth of wicked men hast broke.
8 Salvation doth appertain unto the Lord alone:
Thy blessing, Lord, for evermore thy people is upon.
Scottish Metrical Version
David being much troubled at the unnatural and undutiful rebellion of his son and subjects, makes his complaint to God, lamenting his enemies strength and insults. But notwithstanding cheers up himself by his faith in God to restore him, as by an answer to a prayer he was assured. For all his many adversaries, he comforts himself and is confident, and prays that God would make good this his confidence by delivering him now as heretofore, in respect of his promise to make him a blessed type of Christ to his people.
Vs 1 O Lord, how are my foes increased? against me many rise.
Lord how strange and unexpectedly are new enemies risen up to molest and vex me, when I was in hope of rest and peace, not only mine old inveterate ones of the house of Saul, but even mine own off-spring, and almost all Israel rebel against me, and go about to take the Kingdom from me?
Vs 2 Many say of my soul, For him in God no succor lies.
And to such straits am I now brought worse than ever, as that most men give me for lost, and by reason of my sin which hath caused this trouble, they think me to be utterly out of favour with thee, so that they are confident they shall prevail, for that thou hast quite rejected me, which I would have them know would be to me the worst of evils.
Vs 3 Yet thou my shield and glory art, th' uplifter of mine head.
But though my sin be great, for which thou hast brought this distress upon me, so that I am esteemed as quite undone; yet cannot I so easily yield up my faith, and distrust thy promise and goodness. But am confident thou that art the Lord Almighty, and my good God, will now deliver me from mine enemies as thou hast ever done, and will restore me to, and maintain me in, mine honour which thou hast given me, and turn my sorrow into joy.
Vs 4 I cried, and, from his holy hill, the Lord me answer made.
Nor do I speak this presumptuously or by guess, but am well assured of it, by a special answer I received from God in mine earnest prayer, which I made towards mount Sion, where his Ark resides. And this my confidence to find mercy with God, I care not who know, so sure am I of it.
Vs 5 I laid me down and slept; I waked; for God sustained me.
Which hath so comfortably secured me in mine own mind, as that for all my trouble I can sleep as quietly, and wake as cheerfully as at any time before; The Lord hath given me such a spirit of confidence and assurance, that he will be the same God to me that he has been, and will sustain me now as he hath done heretofore, in spite of mine enemies.
Vs 6 I will not fear though thousands ten set round against me be.
So that, though I must needs confess in outward appearance my condition is very forlorn, being fain to flee before mine enemies, yet I am so comforted in God, as that my faith is far above my fear, so that though multitudes oppose me, and the whole Kingdom (as it were) on every hand rebel against me, and but a very few left to take my part, whilsst God is for me, I care not who or how many be against me.
Vs 7 Arise, O Lord; save me, my God; for thou my foes hast stroke All on the cheek-bone, and the teeth of wicked men hast broke.
And now, O Lord, let it appear that I speak the truth, show thyself in my behalf, put forth thine Almighty power and save me, who thou knows am thine, and one that trusts in thee, and cause I have to do so, for thou hast ever been gracious to me, and defeated mine enemies, though they have been never so strong, and I in never such peril, yet hast thou brought me out, and set me free from the malicious cruelty of all those ungodly ones that have opposed me, for such and none other have ever been mine enemies.
Vs 8 Salvation doth appertain unto the Lord alone: Thy blessing, Lord, for evermore thy people is upon.
So that it is neither the power of mine adversaries, nor the straits I am in, that shall make me doubt of deliverance, whilst I have a God to trust in, who can, and will preserve me as he hath done, (for to him belongs the glory of my preservation) because he hath firmly purposed, and faithfully promised his chief and choicest blessing to his Church and people by me, which shall not be frustrated, even his Son Christ to rule over them, and to be victorious for them, of whom he hath made me the type. Oh that Israel would understand this, submit to it, and praise him for it.