America Prays Psalm 3: Confidence In The Face Of Many Enemies
About Psalm 3 (Or Skip To Prayer)
One of the most prevalent literary forms found in the Psalms is the lament. “Laments, or prayers, are cries to God in in times of need, whether sickness, affliction, slander, war, or some other crisis” (1). The Psalter contains individual and communal, or national, laments (cf. Pss. 44, 60, 74, 79, and 83). Psalm 3 is an individual lament.
As we pray Psalm 3, we cry out to God, as if America herself were praying. America is one nation under God. Our government is by the people, for the people. Therefore, each one of us can pray on behalf of the entire nation.
Psalm 3 is attributed to “A psalm of David, regarding the time David fled from his son Absalom.” This situation in David’s life may not seem applicable to our nation. However, the theological principles found in Psalm 3 have, and have had, contemporary relevance for the people of God since first uttered. The truths found in David’s lament surely pertains to us, and our nation, today.
The prayer concerned the increasing number of adversaries who wished to destroy [David] and undermine his faith—a constant danger for the faithful in the world. (Ross, 217)
The Psalm presents us with a basic truth of the faith: When opposed by many adversaries, the faithful may pray with confidence for deliverance because the Lord’s plan for them cannot be thwarted by the world. (Ross, 227)
O LORD, I have so many enemies;
so many are against me.
2 So many are saying,
“God will never rescue him!”
3 But you, O LORD, are a shield around me;
you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
4 I cried out to the LORD,
and he answered me from his holy mountain.
5 I lay down and slept,
yet I woke up in safety,
for the LORD was watching over me.
6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
who surround me on every side.
7 Arise, O LORD!
Rescue me, my God!
Slap all my enemies in the face!
Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
8 Victory comes from you, O LORD.
May you bless your people.
In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
(Psalm 3 from the NLT)
Deep Dive Into Psalm 3’s Important Guidance For ALL Of Our Prayers
Psalm 3 Emphasizes Praying With Confidence In the Midst Of Opposition
First, About Curses In The Psalms, i.e. Psalm 3:7
Scripture often uses human characteristics to describe God’s actions (anthropomorphism). This includes acts He Himself does and actions that people want Him to do. Verse 7’s “Arise, O LORD!” ascribes human features to God, although God the Father doesn’t actually arise from a non-standing position like people do. David’s prayer for God to “Arise!” is like saying “God, get moving! take action!”
Verse 7’s “arise” also refers back to Psalm 3:1. The NLT translation of v.1 “so many are against me” is more accurately translated “many are rising against me” (cf. ESV, KJV, NAS, NIV, NRS). Since the same verb is used in v.1 and v.7, it is an explicit call for God to arise (v.7) in response to the many enemies rising (v.1) against God’s chosen servant, and by default, God Himself(!). David cannot rescue himself so he urgently prays for God’s deliverance.
Arise, O LORD!Rescue me, my God!Slap all my enemies in the face!Shatter the teeth of the wicked! (Psalm 3:7)
After crying out for rescue, David asks God to slap all of his enemies so hard that He knocks their teeth out. In reading the Psalms, understand that statements like these are not David’s personal vendettas. The Mosaic law demands moral behavior from God’s people, which includes “not seeking revenge” and “loving neighbor as self” (Leviticus 19:18).
Admittedly, occasions arise when members of the #PAGA staff would like to invoke curses on some of the people and groups listed below in the section about enemies. After all, our objective is to Pray America Great Again! When people who enjoy, and have enjoyed, the freedoms of the United States of America, purposely lie, slander, divide, and use multiple other means of destroying America, it is infuriating.
The Psalter’s hymns and prayers were intended for public worship. Like hymns, prayers, and creeds used throughout Christian history, the purpose was to teach theological truths. Imprecations/curses in the Psalms should be read in both literary and theological context. Even as tempting as it may be to read them literally.
5 Key Points To Understanding The Imprecations, i.e. Curses, In The Psalms
- Psalms are prayers to God written in lyric poetry. Figures of speech, such as hyperbole, are used to describe suffering, so feelings are expressed extravagantly. [Think of Charles Wesley’s hymn “O for a thousand tongues to sing.” Wesley didn’t actually want 1,000 tongues. He used hyperbole to describe an overwhelming desire to express “…my great Redeemer’s praise” that seemed impossible to do with only one voice.]
- Psalms express the longing of the OT believer for the vindication of God’s righteousness, put to test by malicious wickedness. Moreover, in a just society, the guilty should be punished.
- Psalms express zeal for God and His Kingdom. “The monarch was the earthly administration of the theocratic kingdom. It fell to the monarch, David, in the first place and his righteous followers to protect the institutions of the nation against enemies who sought to overthrow them and the faith. So if the king was God’s representative, his enemies were not merely his enemies, but God’s (see Ps. 139:19-22).” In this we see vividly the church’s responsibility as followers of Jesus. Christ is our King, and His body is the church, both collectively and in every place a church exists.
- Imprecations are expressions of the psalmists’ hatred of sin. Enemies who attack the righteous and taunt their faith are the embodiment of evil, vile people. As king, David had to champion righteousness and punish evil-doers in order to safeguard God’s kingdom and its purpose.
- Imprecations form prophetic teachings about God’s future dealings with sin and unrepentant and persistent sinners. Nothing in the curses are out of harmony with God’s intent for the wicked. They are not simply statements of what the Psalmist wishes God would do, but things that God has done or certainly will do. No imprecation is worse than what the wicked justly deserve if they persist in wickedness and rebellion. “In short, the imprecations address the ageless conflict of good and evil that will end in the triumph of righteousness. The psalmists wanted to make it absolutely clear where their loyalties lay.”
Psalm 3 Key Takeaway
The main point of Psalm 3 is not that David asks God to slap the wicked and break their teeth. The key takeaway is the King of Israel’s unwavering confidence in God amid the many vile and vicious enemies who sought to destroy God’s Kingdom.
This basic truth of the faith is applicable to David—God’s anointed servant and representative on earth. It is equally applicable to us today, both individually as members of the church (1 Corinthians 6:15; Ephesians 2:19; 1 Peter 2:5) and collectively as the Church (1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:5, 9).
This eternal truth can be stated: “When opposed by many adversaries, the faithful may pray with confidence for deliverance because the Lord’s plan for them cannot be thwarted by the world” (Ross, 227).
Enemies Of Christ In The World And In AmericaOpposition and hatred in the world should not cause fear. The theology of Psalm 3 teaches that we may have great confidence in God in the face of enemies.
Jesus taught His followers long ago:
If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19
Paul also wrote about the enemies of Christ:
For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Philippians 3:21
The prayer of Psalm 3 concerns the increasing number of adversaries who wished to destroy David, God’s representative on earth, and undermine his faith—a constant danger for the faithful in the world.
As Christians in the world, and especially as Christians in America, we have numerous enemies, working to undermine our faith, if that is even possible. Paul says in Ephesians 6:12 that we “do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
We understand earthly enemies primarily as agents of the authorities Paul is speaking about in Ephesians 6:12. But make no mistake, these earthly agents are not being forced to act against their will, but that is between them and God.
The purpose of discussing enemies is not to cause fear (Psalm 3!) but to bring about awareness. Many people are unaware of the hatred for Christians by leftists and the Democrat party in general.
Christian persecution used to be something that only happened in other countries.
However, from subtle measures in the early 20th century carried out in courts and by leftist propaganda, to the more aggressive attacks during the last 3 decades in courts and on television, media, etc., to the repeated encroachment of religious liberties taken by obama and his corrupt administration—history is proof of satan’s increasing rage and desperation because his time grows short (Revelation 12:12).
In America today, we have a president who supports religious liberty more than any American leader since the 1800’s. And the same president is viciously hated, attacked, and smeared by leftists of every dimension.
Using their vox populi (single voice), aka the mainstream media, Christianity is under constant attack. Leftist lawsuits, ridicule, mocking, insults slander, bias, intolerance, etc., they don’t even try to hide it any more.
Perhaps the U.S. is not at the point of throwing Christians in jail, or forbidding Christians to worship freely, but the slippery slope seems to be headed that way (certainly feels like it during the shutdown).
In the Easter Blessing in the Oval Office on 04/10/2020, President Trump called the coronavirus, a 2020 world pandemic, “a hidden enemy.” All disease and death are enemies, both being results of the fall. Thankfully, these adversaries have been defeated by Christ. As Christians we stand victorious.
America, and American Christians, also have enemies in plain sight, both external and internal. As numerous and overwhelming as these enemies are, in Christ we have the victory.
In the Bill of Rights, Americans have freedoms granted to them like no other nation in history. For Christianity, and all Americans for that matter, the entire First Amendment is of utmost importance:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Following are lists of some external and internal enemies of America as founded. The lists will sound necessarily political, but make no mistake, they are enemies of the Cross. The Democrat Party’s god is government. Government is the leftist means used to attack Christianity, policies and political leaders supported by Christians, and America’s founding.
- Leaders from totalitarian nations such as China (communist) and Iran (islamic) despise the United States.
- Modern day “Hitlers, Stalins, Lenins, Maos” i.e. globalists, transnationalists, are self-appointed, unelected, extremely wealthy persons who lust after world domination and global governance (some of these are also within the U.S.).
- Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, etc. all had the same aspirations, however, they led nations to do their evil bidding so were eventually ousted or overthrown.
- Today’s “Hitlers, et al” use global groups and world organizations to do their ominous and evil bidding.
- World organizations such as the WHO, UN, EU are comprised of globalists and progressives who despise America.
- Numerous global groups, NGOs, etc., carry out the globalist agenda. They do such things as facilitate mass migration, “refugee” resettlement, caravans coming to America illegally, fake protests, promote global laws, promote open borders, propagandize with false global warming data, and many other far left tenets. These means are used to bring about mass disruption and societal engineering.
- America is seen as a roadblock to the globalist ideological goal.
- Marxists of all flavors, since Marx himself, have viewed Christianity as an obstruction to their sociopathic ideologies.
The superabundance of America’s internal enemies is most threatening. Every major institution is proliferated with enemies of America as founded.
Most of these people identify to some degree with the Democrat Party. Of course, all Democrat representatives and senators desire to see America as founded destroyed. Enemies exist in the FBI, DOJ, CIA, DIA, literally every government bureaucracy.
University professors, textbook writers, federal judges, union representatives, entertainment persons, athletes, liberation theologians, Silicon Valley employers and employees, indoctrinated college students, every entity level where morals and discipline have been kicked to the curb are filled with leftists.
Organizations, such as NGO’s, atheist groups, “attack” and “fake protester” groups, one for each of the labels used ad naseum by the left, are used to drive anti-American policies. These paid groups perform tasks on behalf of globalists and progressives such as file lawsuits, hold up signs at protests, lobby, brainwash young minds with leftist ideology, group tweet about some Republican they want ousted from office, and of course they all help the mainstream media to push the narrative du jour.
The most heinous internal enemy is the mainstream media. The nation as founded relied on a free and honest press. However, the bias, intolerance, and smear campaigns of the mainstream media are so blatantly obvious that the U.S. no longer trusts the media. The net effect is the absence of an objective free press. This disrupts the free flow of information necessary to the public for making informed, fact-based decisions. The lies and corruption of the left go unchecked because they are not held accountable by a fair media. Conservative media reporting Democrat corruption are written off as “conspiracy theory” by the left, thereby leaving the leftist audience ignorant of truth. While mainstream media covers up leftist corruption, they simultaneously lie, spin, and/or focus on something small done by a conservative to make it appear large.
Ultra billionaires such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and other globalists, are men who lived and used the America dream to become wealthy via capitalism and the freedom of innovation. These same men now seek to destroy America as founded by denouncing all of the things that they themselves took advantage of to get where they are today.
As the song says “Faith is the Victory, that overcomes the world.” Jesus said “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18), and that includes authority over all these people, groups, courts, worldwide organizations, etc., who are enemies of the cross.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:5
(1) Allen P. Ross, A Commentary On The Psalms, Volume I (1-41) (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2011), 111)