Absalom had declared himself king and the majority of Israel had been led astray to follow after him. He had fomented discontent in the hearts of the people making them think David was no longer accessible to them. David had to flee the palace and leave Jerusalem. It is interesting to note that songs come to us not just in the "good" moments of our lives, but also in times of distress. Country music and the blues do not have a corner on music written in times of trouble, difficulty, sadness, and even depression. David sang to the Lord - in good times and in bad. So what did David do when faced with very distressing times? That is what we learn in Psalm 3 as we listen to him sing this song in the midst of betrayal and dire trouble.
David was facing a very real problem. Thus as he begins this troublesome song he begins by facing the problem. He did not seek to hide from it or deny that it existed. "O Lord how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me! Many are saying of my soul, 'There is no deliverance for Him in God!'" The statement among these three that troubled David most was the third. No deliverance for me - not even from God? Could it be true? Could it be that this was a sign that God was finished with David? Could it be that the sins of David's past had come home to visit him for the last time? Was God saying through His providence in all this that He was casting David off - that he need not even call out to God - that the last of his deliverances was used up - and now all that remained was his pitiful demise?
This is one of the most deadly things we face in times like David faced. God is through with you! There is no more deliverance for you from Him. Your sins have risen too high and this stroke of bad fortune is proof of it! There is nothing left for you - you are beyond His mercies or His grace! Oh what a pitiful and horrible place to think you have come to in life. That was the talk that surrounded David in these hours that seemed like days.
The truly troubling thing to David in these moments was that he might have believed them. He had failed in the Bathsheba incident. He had blown it when he did not deal with the rape of his own relative, who happened to be Absalom's daughter. He failed to act with strength when Absalom took matters into his own hands and killed his brother, the crown prince, for his actions. Then David flip-flopped in his dealings with Absalom, banishing him - then having him return - then not seeing him - then receiving him after Joab interceded for him. It was quite a mess - and maybe that mess is what led God to allow this. Maybe there wasn't any grace or mercy left for David's failures.
Those are hard moments for us too. Moments when all our failures are before us - and we begin to wonder if the whispers in our spirit are accurate. There is no deliverance for us in God. He is sick to death of us and all our multitudinous mistakes, blown moments, and failures. We know we would be sick - and indeed are sick of ourselves. Our number of Romans 7 moments mounting up even as we consider praying in our current mess. These are very dangerous moments for us. They can be moments of incredible despair - and moments when we give up hope - giving up the one thing we truly need, which is the ability to turn to God, crying out to Him for mercy and grace in our time of need.
What should we do in moments like this? Where can we turn and how do we get to the point of turning? Moses was told by none other than God Himself what Jehovah's true character is. In Exodus 34 after one of Israel's greatest sins, the making and worshipping of the golden calf, God revealed Himself to Moses as He re-wrote the 10 commandments on new stone tablets. This is what God said to him. "Jehovah, Jehovah God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin . . . " What a glorious revelation of Himself God made. I must also state that in the rest of that verse God also promises to not leave the guilty unpunished. But remember this - He had not consumed Israel in His wrath and judgment. If ever there was a moment to let His wrath fly, that was it! Consume all of them in a moment! There would be no deliverance for them in God - they had sinned - they had blown it again and again through the wilderness! You have got to be kidding to even ask for mercy and grace! Yet - there it is - again - and again - and again . . . mercy . . . compassion . . . forgiveness of iniquity, transgression, sin. Moses turned to God in the worst of situations . . . and in the worst of situations God revealed Himself merciful and compassionate and forgiving.
The day would come when the wrath and judgment for sin would fall. But not today. Not on David, even in this moment that reminded him of every failure and every blown opportunity. That judgment would fall . . . on a different One. God Himself - in the person of the Son - would pay the price - WOULD take the fall - the ultimate fall. But today . . . the failures of today . . . the problems, difficulties, horrors of sin's past . . . they would receive mercy - compassion - forgiveness. What a God - indeed - what an amazing God!
Where are you - troubled saint of God? Has the rising tide of your past failures come to the point of attempting to drown you today? Have you struggled to keep your head above them, all the while hearing whispers in your spiritual ears that there is no deliverance for you in God this time? Oh, precious saint of God - know that even in this moment your wisest choice is to turn to God - crying out to Him in the midst of your troubles. The One Who showed that His lovingkindnesses indeed never cease is near to the broken-hearted. The One Who revealed that His marvelous compassions never fail will hear your call. Amidst the deafening whispers of the wicked one David still heard the still, small blowing of the Holy Spirit. It was that voice that reminded him that even in Israel's horrific moment of "golden calf" sinfulness and failure that God showed His glory to a broken-hearted Moses who cried out to Him. It was in that most horrible of spiritual devastations that God revealed Himself by His endless mercy and grace. Don't listen to the wicked whispers, most precious ones of God. Listen to the glorious roar of God's gentle breeze - to the precious blowing of the Holy Spirit as He speaks of the "praise of the glory of His grace" to you. It is the song that has comforted the spiritual failures of every generation since the fall of man. It is the song that continues to emanate from the very throne of God - through the blood-stained cross of Calvary. Listen, saints, listen! Can you hear it?