Psalm 3 and Psalm 4: A devotional chronicle By Jacques Brouillard, Cheryl Kopec and Michel Desjardins

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The context (2 Samuel chapters 15 and 16)

After Amnon’s murder, his half-brother Absalom spent three years in exile, in the region of Geshur. Back in Jerusalem, David did not want to see him for two years. So, there were five years in which the bitterness in Absalom’s heart took root and produced the fruit of rebellion. Despite the reconciliatory meeting, this bitterness did not vanish, and for forty years Absalom plotted a rebellion.
And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, "From what city are you?" And when he said, "Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,"
3Absalom would say to him, "See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you."
4Then Absalom would say, "Oh that I was judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice."
5And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him.
6Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7And at the end of forty years Absalom said to the king, "Please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hebron.
8For your servant vowed a vow while I lived at Geshur in Aram, saying, `If the LORD will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will offer worship to the LORD.`"
9The king said to him, "Go in peace." So he arose and went to Hebron.
10But Absalom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then says, `Absalom is king at Hebron!`"
11With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem who were invited guests and they went in their innocence and knew nothing.
12And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David`s counsellor, from his city Giloh. And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom kept increasing.
13And a messenger came to David, saying, "The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom." 14Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, "Arise, and let us flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword." (ESV)

2 Samuel 16

5When King David came to Bahurim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera, and as he came he cursed continually.
13So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went and threw stones at him and flung dust. 14And the king and all the people who were with him, arrived weary at the Jordan. And there he refreshed himself. (ESV)
It could be in this place where David composed this psalm:
â€"A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.1 Ã" LORD, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me;
After reading the context, can you better understand the anguish of these words?
2 Many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. (ESV)
In the eyes of men, faced with the multitude of conspirators, David had no chance left. His lives hung by a thread, his days were numbered. Surely David, for a time, was convinced of this.
Wasn’t he a man of war? He knew he didn’t stand a chance with the limited number of people remaining at his service.


Selah (Break)

Small word that says so much! David took the time to put an end to his negative thoughts.
He remembered that he had an ally in this torment that no one else dreamed of calling upon.
Hope sprung anew in his soul.
Words of victory poured from his mouth.

3 But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4 I cried aloud to the LORD,and he answered me from his holy hill. (ESV)

This privilege that David enjoyed is ours as well, since we depend on and serve the same God: the Almighty of armies!

Selah

Another break to meditate on these marvellous words. The Almighty is our shield, our protection no matter what difficult circumstances we have to face! Are they as imposing as the ones David had to face? The Almighty is our Glory and HE WANTS to lift up our heads!

5 I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me. (ESV)



What marvellous reflections!



The danger is only a few kilometres from him and David, thanks to his faith in his God, can say he lies down, that he sleeps serenely, that he awakens in peace, for the Almighty upholds him.
Do you think of the Almighty as your upholder?
May you come to think of Him as your Protector and that Support alone is the dearest desire of His heart.

6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.

7 Arise, O LORD! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.

8 Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people! (ESV)

Our salvation which consists of our liberation, our deliverance, our emancipation from this world of shadows is only found in a true and intimate relationship with our God.

If we drift away from the Almighty of the armies because of our painful circumstances, we deprive ourselves of the blessing of His presence and of victory over our enemies.

Selah

Take advantage of this break to praise our God and to thank Him for His faithfulness!

This is one of our acts that gives joy to our Almighty God!
Prayer: «Glory to your Name, Father of glory! You reveal to our hearts Your desire to help us amid our distress. Your heart rejoices at the sight of the faith we place in You. You recall to our spirits the promises of Your word. Thank you for keeping watch over our lives!»

Have a good week in His presence!

Jacques Brouillard
Cheryl Kopec
An odyssey in the heart of psalms.



Psalm 4

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

David was a skilled composer. By the power of God, we still today can profit by those inspired texts, and his love for God, and the love of God manifested in him.

1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

By these words, David freely manifests his worries in difficult situations, but he declares them with faith. He has the assurance that God is listening to him whenever he finds himself near an endless pit. The side of this hole cannot be climbed. Only the hand of the almighty can pull him out.

A very good example for us in the days to come, when we will be facing the same hidden trap on our daily walk; during adversity.

O men, how long shall my honour will be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies?

His sight must have crossed that of those observing him without any compassion. It is certainly not one of them that would throw him the rope of grace to help him out of this deep pit. They are too occupied boasting about themselves in vanity, at the price of any cheep lie.

Selah

In these times when tormenting was raging, it is good to pause and have our eyes turn away from our difficulties, directing them toward the throne of justice and the grace were is sitting our King.

3 But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.

4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.

Here is to me, an appropriate way to pray, when we are going through trouble times:

a) Let us affirm that we are children of God, chosen by him.

b) Let us have the assurance that when we cry out, he hears us.

c) Let us be careful that under emotion (anger, rage, anxiety) -the Hebrew word is “ragaz”- we do not to sin.



At the end of the bed or comfortably sitted inside a chosen room, for our times of meditations, this psalm invites us to entertain our relation with our God, to tell him what is not going well for us and this, without detour; to stay quiet and let the peace of God manifest itself in our soul.

Selah (Break)

This part of the psalm invites us to center our thoughts on the Majesty of our God, on his Splendor.

How to achieve this?

Here is the answer:

5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.

The result will not take an eternity to manifest itself!


6 There are many who say, "Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!"

7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.

8 in peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Good Meditation of this marvellous Psalm



Prayer:

« Thank you Father of Glory, for showing your kindness and your graciousness in our lives. Whenever by not being attentive enough we fall into a pit dug by the enemy, your hand is never too short to pull us out! Yes Father of Glory, we could count on you faithfulness!

To those who need your peace this week, please give it so abundantly. Come and make a difference, in our lives.”

Good week!

Jacques Brouillard

Michel Desjardins

(Together, for the Service of the Master!)

Biblical quotations extracted from ESV.

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