In part one we looked at what people were saying about David. An outsiders perspective, if you will. Now I want to look at David’s response.
First off let me say that I don’t honestly get it. I cannot fully understand how David keeps his cool and, even more so, his confidence. People, many people, are rising up to kill him and this is what David says, “But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.” (Psalm 3:3) This man of war pictures God as a protective covering – a shield.
David draws comfort from knowing that God protects. This man who had faced sword and bow trusted in God for his safety. To me, this means that David, now an older man, could look back and KNOW that God can and does protect. David had trusted God many times before and he had never been let down. Now he could do so again.
But David does not stop with mere protection. David goes on to describe God as the one who lifts his head. This has the idea of one who comes to you when you are in despair and gently puts his hand under your chin lifting it and making your eyes look up. It is the act of a friend who reminds you that there is hope! The words, “My glory” have great significance here. It means that David remembers that his position is derived from the True King. The glory David has, is not his own, it was given to him by God. It is God Himself that then comes to David and says look up – at ME!
David goes on to say that as he cried out to God that God answered him. David knew he was not alone. Not just metaphorically but really and truly not alone. With that knowledge David lies down to sleep. Now, I don’t know about you but when I am in the thick of things I am not necessarily inclined to sleep. Quite the opposite in fact. I tend to lose sleep. I tend to spend hours obsessing over things and trying to figure out how to make things work. And now I realize that it is wrong and sinful.
David says that when he, in the midst of intense turmoil, laid down he slept. More to the point David says that he awoke, still in one piece and still being cared for by the same God who protected him in battle. That, my friends, is peace. Not the absence of conflict. PEACE! The presence of God in such a real way that all else is secondary. The kind of reassurance that says, “sleep, I will keep watch.”
It is no surprise then to see what David says next. “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about.” David declares, I will not be scared even when surrounded by thousands of enemies. That is faith. That is confidence that can only come from experience.
I will be the first to admit that I need this lesson made real in my life. I am tired of sleepless nights and feeling overwhelmed all the time. I need to learn this. I need this confidence. Not from David’s life but from my own.