12/19/2014

Fearless Before Many Adversaries (Psalm 3)

Psalm 3:1-8; 6

"I am not afraid of the thousands of people who have taken their stand against me on every side" (Ps 3:6, HCSB).
  • Do you feel confident when the odds are stacked against you?
  • Do you live with no fear or anxiety in your heart when you are uncertain about your future?
  • Can you sleep peacefully when there are troubles all about you?
Outline of Psalm 3
1
1-2
Despondency: What he knows
Complaint: Many enemies
Predicament
2
3-4
Dependency: What he does
Confession: God is my shield
Prayer
3
5-8
Deliverance: What he experiences
Consolation: Sleep & confidence
Peace
From the book of Psalms we pray to learn about the authentic inner life of a believer, as the psalmist expresses his manifold emotions, especially in various troubling, distressful situations and painful, discouraging circumstances of life. Compared to David, I really have it so easy!
  • In Psalm 1, we considered The Secret of Happiness. We learn that happiness is closely related to how we live and what we think most about (Ps 1:1-2).
  • In Psalm 2, we proclaimed that God's King Rules. We know that despite unrelenting opposition and rebellion from rulers and nations (Ps 2:1-3), God's plan will never ever be thwarted or hindered (Ps 2:4-9).
  • In Psalm 3, David, the man after God's own heart, dealt with adversity without any fear and with unflinching confidence despite all the odds being stacked against him. This sermon may be titled "Confidence Against All Odds," or "Fearless Before Many Adversaries." Psalm 3 shows a pattern for praise, peace and prayer amidst pressure, pain, persecution and punishment.
Psalm 3 is the first psalm with a title. David is the author and the occasion is Absalom's rebellion (2 Samuel 15-18). This psalm shows how David models genuine faith while in dire straits. Readers, both past and present, can learn from David's faith how to overcome our own times of difficulty, distress, despondency and despair. Consider David's perspective regarding:
  1. What He Hears (1-2): Human opposition.
  2. What He Believes (3-4): Divine protection.
  3. What He Experiences (5-6): Confidence without fear.
  4. What He Prays For (7): Victory over foes.
  5. What He Knows (8): Blessing that is sure.
I. What He Hears (1-2): Human opposition

How discouraging and disheartening it is to hear disparagement and negativity uttered about you, usually behind your back.
  • God will not bless you.
  • God will punish you.
  • God will not answer your prayer.
  • God is not pleased with you.
  • You just want to get married.
  • You just want to fulfill your own desire.
II. What He Believes (3-4): Divine protection

III. What He Experiences (5-6): Confidence without fear

IV. What He Prays For (7): Victory his foes

V. What He Knows (8): Blessing that is sure

Questions:
  1. What occasion led David to write this psalm (Read 2 Samuel 15:13-17:24)?
  2. What did David know about his adversaries (1)? What did they say (2)? Who in particular (2 Sam 16:5-8)?
  3. How did David view God (3)? What did he do and how did God respond (4)?
  4. Why was David able to sleep in the midst of many troubles (5)? Why is insomnia a problem for many?
  5. How did David feel knowing that there are thousands who are against him (6; Prov 29:25)?
  6. How does David pray (7; Ps 7:8)? Should Christians today pray like him (Mt 5:44)?
  7. What is David confident of (8)?
References:
  1. Motyer, J Alec. The Psalms. New Bible Commentary. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1994.
  2. Kidner, Derek. Psalms 1 - 72: An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1973.
  3. Psalm 3 -- A Morning Prayer for God's Protection.
    1. David's complaint (1-2).
    2. David's comfort (3-6).
    3. David's cry (7-8).
  4. ESV Study Bible.
    1. What he sees (1-2).
    2. What he believes (3-6).
    3. What he prays for (7-8).