Psalms 3 speaks to the heart of every parent that has ever had a wayward child. A child whom you loved, raised right, gave every advantage too, groomed to follow in your footsteps only to have that child grow up and go against every bit of it.
David, the author of Psalms 3, knew this parental heartache only too well. Not only did David’s son, Absalom, go against everything daddy had raised him to do and be, Absalom killed his brother and now wanted to kill his daddy David so he could take over the throne of Israel.
Hopefully you never have and never will experience the nightmare of your own child wanting to kill you, hopefully you will never have a wayward child, but you will have family trouble to some degree. Psalms 3 tells us how to have peace in the middle of family trouble.
Psalms 3 is a song that David wrote while he was running away and hiding from the beloved son that wanted to kill him. The son who would have inherited the throne upon David’s death and taken over the family empire, but son Absalom was unwilling to wait for daddy to die of natural causes, he planned to hasten his departure along so he could rule the country.
Son Absalom was not working alone in his quest for daddy David’s death and national power. A nation of people who had once so loved and admired their King David, had been deceived and had their hearts turned against David by a cunning plan that Absalom had devised. Even David’s formerly loyal advisors and friends had turned against him, David fled for his life from Israel to the wilderness with only the Levites and few other followers.
Let’s review the previous years to see what had started this family trouble for David.
Absalom’s brother, Amnon, raped their sister, Tamar. While they were only half-brothers and sisters, this was still a definite no-no. In their culture, Tamar would now be unable to ever marry, having lost her virginity in rape. Amnon had the power to make it right, he could have married Tamar, but refused. Daddy David did nothing to avenge or comfort his daughter nor to punish his son Amnon for the rape. Absalom took the matter into his own hands and killed his brother Amnon then fled to Gershur, Syria.
Absalom remained in Gershur for 3 years, hiding and fearing retribution, which under the law, would require his life to be taken. During those 3 years of exile, David missed and mourned for his son, Absalom. He came to terms with the death of son Amnon early on, but his heart yearned for Absalom. Joab, David’s cousin and right hand man, seen David’s mourning and devised a plan to bring Absalom back home. Absalom’s only punishment when he returned home to Israel was not to see his daddy David for 2 years.
During those 2 years, Absalom plotted and executed his plan to take over the throne. 2nd Samuel gives the details of how this good-looking young man with a charismatic personality stole the hearts of people and put himself on the throne.
It was during this time of intense family trouble that David penned Psalms 3. This family trouble did not start with the rape of Tamar, it actually started years before when David, as a young King, seen a beautiful married woman named Bathsheba, whom David got pregnant then had her husband Uriah killed to cover up the affair and pregnancy. David was judged of God for having Uriah killed, God declared that the sword would never depart from David’s house as part of the judgment against David.
Even though this family trouble stemmed in part from something David did himself, and in part for something David failed to do, David did not give up or give in. David had peace in the middle of the family trouble. Psalms 3 tells us how he did it, and how we can have peace in the middle of family trouble, even when we are partly to blame, by doing the same things.
Verse 1-Pray. Tell God what’s going on.
Verse 2-Tell God what they are saying. “They’ always have a lot to say, tell God and don’t listen at what ‘they’ have to say, listen at what God says.
Verse 3-Trust that God is going to bring you through the family trouble shame-free.
Verse 4-Cry out to God and believe that He hears you and will answer.
Selah at the end of verse 4-pause, be calm, be quiet, think about God’s promises.
Verse 5-Go to bed and get some sleep. Family trouble is emotionally and physically exhausting. Cast your cares upon the Lord and go to sleep.
Verse 6-Don’t be afraid, no matter how many family members are against you.
Verse 7-Trust God to save you, give you victory in the family trouble and deal with your enemies accordingly.
Verse 8-Praise God and bless your family. You won’t ‘feel’ like doing this, do it anyway, in faith. ‘Selah’, pause and calmly think about it. Intentionally, on purpose, praise God and speak a blessing on your family right in the middle of the family trouble.
This is how you, like David, can have peace in the middle of family trouble.