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by Mark Driscoll
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Mon May 20, 2013
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Mon May 20, 2013
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Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Psalm 3 When you fear the Lord, there is nothing left to fear
From time to time I will have a series of guests contribute as we dig into the Psalms. This week we will hear from my dear brother Joel Brown from Mars Hill. Joel and I have been working together at Mars Hill in one way or another since I came to Seattle 9 years ago. He is a record producer, drummer, guitar player, singer, songwriter, sound engineer, the leader of MH band “Red Letter,” and currently serves as my “Director of Band Development.” If that weren’t enough he’s also in our elder process. Here are his thoughts on Psalm 3...
What’s going on in Psalm 3?
This Psalm begins with a note of context: “A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.” David wrote this prayer to the Lord while under an incredible attack on his kingship in the land of Israel. There is far too deep a plot to explain here, but the story (see 2 Samuel 13-19) is well worth the read and gives us a great perspective on Psalm 3. We see David’s abdication as a father, the rape of his daughter Tamar at the hands of her half brother, followed by David’s son Absolom’s fury over the event, and the drama that ensues as David flees Jerusalem from Absolom’s hostile takeover of the country. At this time, despite his fear, conviction, and shame, David unwaveringly trusts in God. As he’s leaving town, people are throwing rocks and dirt, cursing him saying, “there is no salvation for [him] in God.” David knows that God holds the cards and will deal what he will (2 Samuel 16:5-14). David has a peace in God’s sovereignty. He cries out to the Lord and, freeing him of his anxieties, the Lord allows David to rest in comfort.
David is not our ultimate example
Though David ultimately trusted in God, looking to him as our example is unsufficient—our ultimate example is Jesus, as in all things. Jesus had far greater foes rise against him than David could have imagined. I am reminded of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane praying “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39). Jesus, living by the Spirit in full submission to the will of the Father, had nothing to fear in what was the most terrifying of human experiences. He was abandoned by everyone. He was wrongfully tried and sentenced to the most gruesome punishment man has conceived. Most importantly, the Father turned his back on the Son and laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). What could be more terrifying? What could be a heavier weight to carry? Yet, despite his circumstances, Jesus identified deeply with David’s prayer, “I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.” In complete trust in His Father, He walked in silence to His death, like a lamb that is led to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7)! All of this was brought upon him not as a result of his actions but out of the Father’s wrath, which Jesus willingly accepted in spite of asking that it be removed. I wrote about this in my song “One Righteous Man,” inspired by Isaiah 53.
Learning how to be more like Jesus through the Psalms...
My first reaction to this Psalm was: Who are my foes? If I’m really honest with myself I don’t really have any ‘foes’ to speak of. Not in the David-against-Absalom/Nation sense anyway. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with this approach, but if Christ is the center of the scriptures (John 5:39-40), I have to look deeper. Seeing Christ here allows me to have the perspective that God intended when He inspired David. David’s trust in God is a calm reminder to us all that true rest and peace only comes from God (Matthew 11:28-30; Ephesians 2:14). We often pour ourselves out in an effort to find comfort in created things, but nothing created ever lasts (Isaiah 40:6-8). In thinking about this, I realized that true worship—living every aspect of our lives in full submission to the Father’s will—is comfort and rest and peace and all things that we most deeply desire. Looking at Jesus’ example, “The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom” has new meaning (Proverbs 9:10). If you truly fear God you needn't fear anything or anyone else. God is sovereign over all and with complete trust in Him, fear of created things no longer exists. Wisdom is where the fear of the Lord begins and the fear of creation ends. Father, Thank you for Your salvation and blessing! Thank you for Your love and steadfastness! Thank you for Your wisdom, which transcends human understanding! Help me to not fear man and seek comfort in created things. Help me to seek You in all things. Allow this to affect my heart so deeply that I would even willingly and fearlessly go to my death if Your will required.
Tim Smith’s facebook page
Joel Brown’s facebook page
Discuss this psalm on facebook “One Righteous Man” written by Joel Brown, performed by Red Letter, taken from the album “Death to Life” available early ’09 from Re:Sound (Resurgence music)