In the Psalm for Today David is running away from his son Absalom who has taken away David’s ruling power in the midst of David’s kingship. Absalom has overthrown David’s government and has chased his father from Jerusalem and David cries out to God for help. The Scripture records the eventual defeat of Absalom when Joab, David’s military leader slays Absalom against the wishes of David. He wanted Absalom alive, but Joab who considered what the kingdom would be like with a rebellious son continuing to live knew better and killed Absalom in the heat of battle, much to the dismay of David, who cried out Absalom, Absalom my son Absalom!
This Psalm was written during David’s flight from Jerusalem into the wilderness. Many persecutors troubled the King, many rose up against him and his rule, and many were saying there is no help for him in God! But David strongly believed in his LORD. He knew that the LORD was his Shield, the LORD was his glory and the One who would lift up his head in eventual victory. God is our Helper as stated in (Psalm 30:10).
This also will be the attitude of the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes at the end of this age and defeats the emissaries of the Devil at the Battle of Armageddon. He too will lift up His head in victory as recorded in Psalm 110:5-7 “The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the Day of His Wrath [The Day of the Lord]. He shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with the dead bodies; He shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink from the brook in the way, therefore He shall lift up the head.”
His great victory at the final battle described as “The battle of the great Day of God Almighty” in Revelation 16:14 is also described in Revelation 19:11-21 when the Lord Jesus Christ will come upon His “White horse” to bring judgment and justice upon the Antichrist and the armies of the world and bring eventual peace to this earth when He rules for a thousand years (Revelation 20:4-6) from the throne of His father David (Luke 1:32) which throne our Psalm for the Day reveals was in question as Absalom David’s son had usurped the authority of his father and at the present time this Psalm was written David was calling upon the LORD for help.
He was heard by the LORD “Out of His holy hill” (v.4) and David received the peace of God as this Psalm shows him laying down and sleeping in the midst of his son’s rebellion. He awakes recognizing the LORD sustained him. (v.5) In (v.6) David’s faith takes over the situation as his fear is dispelled even though there was a great number of those who set themselves against round about, within reach of him, for “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7) As servants of the Lord, we all have enemies of the Gospel. There are those who will attack what we say as we speak the Truth of the Word of God. Just this past weekend as the Lord sent a young man named Timothy to my table who was grieving over his life’s disappointments. He often denied the Truth of the Scripture with a mixture of the truth and his ideas.
Having much Bible knowledge he abandoned his hope in the Lord saying that he just wanted it to be over, life was dealing him a bad hand, and after about 45 minutes of counseling/preaching the Gospel to this OTR Driver, he got up with tears in his eyes, broken in spirit and promised to come to the service Sunday morning. But, when Sunday morning came he walked by me a number of times with contemptuous looks and never came to the service. But, the Lord sent another Driver named Anthony and we had great fellowship and blessing from the Lord as we prayed for Timothy and rejoiced in the Lord’s great goodness to us as Believers through His Word!
David had much to be disappointed about when his son rebelled against him and usurped the throne. But he cried out to God for help and received the blessing by faith. He looked back upon the victories God had given him in the past in (v.7) ”Arise O LORD, save me O my God, for Thou has smitten all my enemies upon the cheekbone, Thou has broken the teeth of the ungodly.” David understood where victory comes from and that is exactly where we need to go in times of need. Looking to our great Helper the Lord Jesus Christ who intercedes for us at the throne of grace in times of need (Hebrews 7:25).
This Psalm ends with David proclaiming one of the great Truths we can rely upon when it appears that all is against us, when we look to ourselves and not the Lord for “Salvation belongs unto the LORD/Jehovah”. This word “Salvation” can also mean deliverance as in this context, for David knows that the LORD will deliver him from the intense troubles that he faces and so too with us, 3,000 years later the LORD is ever the same!