Covered by the Glory
King David’s song when he was forced to flee from Absalom, his own son
The Humbling of a King
1Lord, I have so many enemies, so many who are against me.
2Listen to how they whisper their slander against me, saying:
“Look! He’s hopeless! Even God can’t save him from this!”
Pause in his presence # 3:2 This is the Hebrew word Selah, a puzzling word to translate. Most scholars believe it is a musical term for pause or rest. It is used seventy-one times in the Psalms as an instruction to the music leader to pause and ponder in God’s presence. An almost identical word, Sela, means “a massive rock cliff.” It is said that when Selah is spoken, the words are carved in stone in the throne room of the heavens.
The Help of God
3But in the depths of my heart I truly know
that you, Yahweh, have become my Shield;
You take me and surround me with yourself. # 3:3 Many translations render this “You are a shield around me.” The ancient Hebrew can be translated “You, O Lord, are my taker” (Augustine). The implication is that God shields us by taking us into himself. Jesus Christ is the taker of humanity, the one who was made flesh. He not only took our nature, he also took our sins that he might take us into glory.
Your glory # 3:3 Or “my glory.” covers me continually.
You lift high my head. # 3:3 In the time of David, to lift up the head signified acquittal when judged, being freed from the prison of shame. See 2 Kings 25:27–28; Jer. 52:31.
4I have cried out to you, # 3:4 The Hebrew reads “I have cried out to you with my voice.” How else do we cry out to God—isn’t it always with our voice? But the word for “voice” has many different Hebrew meanings. It can also mean “the bleating of a lamb.” David was God’s lamb bleating out to his Shepherd for help. Yahweh, from your holy presence. # 3:4 Or “from your holy hill.”
You send me a Father’s help.
Pause in his presence
The Song of Safety
5So now I’ll lie down and sleep like a baby—
then I’ll awake in safety, for you surround me with your glory.
6Even though ten thousand dark powers # 3:6 Or “military troops.” prowl around me,
I won’t be afraid.
The Secret of Strength
7Rise up and help me, Yahweh! Come and save me, God!
For you will slap them in the face,
breaking the power of their words to harm me. # 3:7 Or “You broke the teeth [lies] of the wicked.”
8For the Lord alone is my Savior. # 3:8 The Hebrew word used sixty times in the Psalms for deliverance is Yeshuah, a variant form of the name for Jesus. This is pointing us to where our salvation is found.
What a feast of favor and bliss he gives his people!
Pause in his presence