Psalm 3: Many enemies

How do you respond when everything and everyone seems to be against you?

And is it ok for us to ask God to punch people in the face for us???

In this psalm we see David's response in the face of many enemies - Gratitude and a longing for justice...

Lord, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!

Many are saying of me,
    ‘God will not deliver him.’


King David, who wrote this psalm, has many enemies and one of them at this point is his own son Absalom - who is leading a rebellion against him.  Imagine your own family turning against you and wanting you dead!  Imagine people who know you, saying that you're a waste of space and that there's no hope for you.  Or imagine there's a deadly virus sweeping through the country, threatening the lives of people everywhere (!).

How would you respond?

David responds with gratitude to God...

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain. 

I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.
 

Everything David is grateful for is available today to everyone who trusts and follows Jesus for a relationship with God...

David is grateful for God's protection that surrounds him like a shield.  Do you know God's peace and protection in your life when everyone else is living in fear?
 
David is grateful that God lifts his head up.  When you're at low ebb, do you know the comfort and confidence that come from a close relationship with God?

David is grateful to be able to call out to God in prayer and hear him speak too.  Do you take everything to God in prayer?  Do you trust him to answer you in the best possible way? 

David is grateful that he can sleep and wake each day because God sustains him.  Do you recognise that it's only by the grace and kindness of God that you are able to make it through each day with him?

And David is grateful that he has no fear, even when surrounded by enemies.  Do you know the fearlessness that comes from knowing Jesus, and from knowing that nothing can separate us from his love?

Paul writes (in Romans 8:38-39)...
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In the face of his enemies, David still has plenty to be grateful to God for.  But he also tells God what he wants him to do to his enemies.  And he doesn't hold back...

Arise, Lord!
    Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
    break the teeth of the wicked. 

From the Lord comes deliverance.
    May your blessing be on your people.

"God, please punch every one of my enemies in their stupid faces and bust their teeth out!"  Is it ok to pray like this?  Three thoughts come to mind here... 

Firstly, God knows our thoughts before we speak them out (Psalm 139:4), so it's better to be honest with him than try to hide our true feelings.  Like any loving parent, he can handle anything we want to ask him for, even if the answer needs to be 'no'.

Secondly, this side of Jesus' death on the cross, we're told to love our enemies and to pray for them (Matthew 5:43-45), so rather than seeking revenge, we can pray that they come to repent of their sin and come to Jesus for forgiveness too.

But thirdly, there remains a good and right desire for justice to be done against the enemies of God who are not sorry at all for their sin and rebellion against him.  They will receive no more and no less than exactly what they deserve from a perfect God.  This goes for the devil and all demons who seek to steal, kill and destroy people's lives (John 10:10) but also for people themselves who refuse, right to the end, to humble themselves and come to Jesus for forgiveness and rescue.  We can love them and pray for them to repent.  And if they do, they will experience Jesus as their Perfect Saviour.  But if they don't, they will experience him as their Perfect Judge (2 Timothy 4:1).

Is Jesus your Perfect Saviour who makes you fearless in the face of many enemies?

Or will Jesus be your Perfect Judge who punishes you as one of his many enemies?