Short Meditations in Psalms: 3.2 Discouragement
Psa 3:2 Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.”
Them and us! The challenge is that the world will always be against the reality of God and our relationship with Him and challenge whether He will turn up for us. When things go wrong in our lives – and they do sometimes – they say, ‘See, you’re just the same as us; there is no God, you’re on your own’, or in the words of David, “God will not deliver him.” Why? Because He’s not there! That’s what Satan would have us believe. From the first time since Satan sought to undermine Eve’s thinking, he has sought to do the same with us. You’re on your own! You’re no different from anyone else in the world.
There is a very real battle that goes on for the mind. It starts with beliefs and it finishes with beliefs. We live in a largely godless society and in that we are different from David when he wrote this psalm. His society was, theoretically at least, a people under God so, yes, they had a token belief at least, that God was on their case but after that it was rather fuzzy.
When you read all the accounts of David’s life in the Bible, there are two occasions when David acted with revelation that governed his actions. Twice, in the early years before he became king and Saul the king was after him, he had opportunity to kill Saul, yet he refused to take those opportunities on the grounds that Saul was the Lord’s anointed and it could only be God who removed him. How times have changed; now it is David who is the Lord anointed but Absalom is moving against him with superior power to dethrone him.
What is going on here? Why were the people saying that God would not deliver David from Absalom’s hand? Well the truth of the matter was that David had sinned over the matter of Bathsheba and the Lord had pronounced this disciplinary judgment over him: “Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you.” (2 Sam 12:11) The Lord would humble David in this way.
So, at the heart of this matter is the discipline of the Lord. Judgement, I have come to see, can be terminal (bringing death) or disciplinary (bringing change to the person or circumstances). The question therefore is will the Lord destroy David or simply discipline him. The voices around him say he will be destroyed but David is a man after God’s own heart and deep in his heart he knew a truth that only Ezekiel would spell out – God prefers life-bringing repentance to death (Ezek 18:23,32 & 33:11). Do you and I live in that reality? Some saints do go to heaven prematurely (see 1 Cor 11:30) but the Lord much prefers repentance. This is the assurance we live by. Hallelujah.