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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Writings

Psalms 3

Verses 1-8

PSALM 3

Confidence in the presence of enemies as the result of faith in God, when outwardly all is against the soul.

Confidence in God when outwardly all is against the soul; when the enemy is in power, and apparently there is no help in God.

(vv. 1-2) In Psalm 2 , the world takes counsel “against the Lord;” in this psalm the godly man says, “Many are they that rise up rise up against me.” Enemies on every hand, with no public intervention from God on behalf of the godly, become the occasion for the enemy to say, “There is no help for him in God.”

(v. 3) In spite of outward appearances, faith sees that the Lord is a shield for the godly; his glory, the One in whom he boasts; and who, in due time, will lift up his head, though for the moment the enemy seems to triumph ( Psa_27:5-6 ; Psa_110:7 ).

(vv. 4-6) Having this simple faith the soul confides in Jehovah - cries to the Lord, and is heard. The result being he can lie down and sleep though the circumstances are unaltered. Moreover he can awake and face ten thousands of opposers and not be afraid.

(vv. 7-8) He looks to the Lord to arise and act on his behalf, anticipating the time when all his enemies will be set aside in judgment, and the Lord's people reach their final blessing.

The experiences of the soul, and the desires expressed, clearly show that, primarily, the psalm contemplates a godly Jew who is waiting for the earthly and millennial blessing, which will be reached through the judgment of the living nations. The Christian, whose blessings are heavenly, looks to reach his full and final blessing, not through the judgment of his enemies, but by the coming of the Lord to take him to heaven.

There are, however, principles in the psalm which can well be used by the Christian in meeting troubles, while passing through a world from which Christ is absent. There are times when we are called to face not single trials but many. The troublers and the troubles are “increased.” In the presence of troubles, whether single or multiplied, the believer can find in the Lord his “shield.” This defensive piece of armor is held between a man and his enemy. Blessed when faith realizes that God is between ourselves and all our troubles. It matters not then if the enemy be multiplied to “ten thousands of people.” Be it a question of ourselves and the enemy, one is too strong for us: if it is a question of God and the enemy it matters not if it is one or ten thousand against us.

The One who is our shield against the enemy becomes a resource for ourselves. As we avail ourselves of this great resource - as we cast our cares upon the Lord, He fills our hearts with His peace. The effect of prayer is not necessarily to change our circumstances, but to change ourselves. In place of being distressed and distracted we are kept in peace and sustained in the trial ( Php_4:6-7 ). This is blessedly seen in the experiences of the psalmist. In the midst of his trials he cries to the Lord, has the consciousness of being heard, with the result, that, though the trials continue as before, he is kept in peace; he sleeps and is sustained; he awakes to the full consciousness of the trial but can face it without fear.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 3". "Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-3.html. 1832.