Read: Psalm 6
The Lament Psalms teach us how to bring our pains, our fears and our troubles to the Lord. In even the worst circumstances, we can cry out to the Lord. The Psalms of Lament teach us that God listens to our cries. Sometimes pain comes from an external source; sometimes it is the consequence of our sin. No matter what, God is good and hears our prayers.
Can you imagine not only fleeing for your life, but fearing that you are being hunted down by your own son?
The subtitle of Psalm 3, tells us that when David wrote this, he was most likely on the run from his own son Absalom. There must have been such of a sea of emotions and fears during this time of his life. What is so endearing about David, is that he gives us such an honest glimpse into the human soul. Almighty king of Israel, chosen one of God, yet surrounded by enemies and in fear for his own life. His peers were saying there was no hope for him, and calling him a fool. But David, even amidst his darkest hour, reminds himself of what he knows is true of God.
He is confident that though he is literally surrounded by those who wish to harm him, he can sleep in peace because the Lord is his shield. The Passion Translation puts verse 3 like this, “You take me and surrounded me with yourself. Your glory covers me continually.”
What an amazing thought! Often when we find ourselves drowning in sorrow or fear, surrounded on all sides, we only believe God is with us if He takes away the circumstances that are causing our pain. We get angry with God because things aren’t changing or He is not “answering our prayers.” But what if His presence was enough? What if the knowledge that even thought the danger might still be present, the glory of the living God is covering us and surrounding us more powerfully than our trouble, was enough to give us the peace we need to sleep and rest? David believed this with His whole heart. He was never afraid to be honest with God about his fear and frustration. He laid it all out on the table. But he also put His trust in who He knew God to be and was still able to rest knowing that he is ultimately safe in God’s hands.
We also see David was not afraid to call God to action. “Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God!” The ESV says in verse 7. Do we do this with boldness like David? Do we call on our Father to save us when we are trouble believing that He can rescue us? David seems to have grasped a deep understanding of how to walk through pain:
– We can be honest with God about how deeply troubled we are by our circumstances.
– We can find rest and peace even when the darkness is still all around us because God is with us, covering us with His glory.
– We can boldly call on God our Father to intervene on our behalf and defeat our enemies.
All at the same time! God is moved by our pain and sorrow, and promises that no matter what enemies we face, He is with us. He wants our openness, honesty, trust, and faith.
- When was the last time you reached out to the Lord in pain and anguish?
- Do you pray through painful seasons of your life? Do you find yourself needing the boldness that David exhibits in Psalm 3?
- If you feel you have nothing to lament in your life, how can you share the pain and troubles of others and join them in prayer?
Pray the Psalms
Read and pray through the Psalms this week. As you pray, reflect on the refrain for each Psalm written below. Conclude each Psalm with “Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.”
- Psalm 3 – There is salvation in God.
- Psalm 67 – Let all the peoples praise you, O God.
- Psalm 100 – The Lord is gracious; his love is everlasting.
- Psalm 95 – Come, let us worship and bow down.
- Psalm 105 – Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
- Psalm 102 – My help comes from the Lord.
- Psalm 42 – Why are you so heavy within me, O my soul?