Monday, June 24, 2013

Facing Your Absalom with Right Focus

Psalm 3 was written by David during the time when he fled from his son Absalom. The Psalm itself does not describe the historical account of what is happening but rather it captures the emotion of this ordeal from David’s perspective. The historical portion of this account can be found in 2 Samuel Chapter 15. We learn that David was facing a revolt - his own son plotting to overthrow his father’s kingdom. On top of that, David's close adviser decided to switch camp and joined Absalom to revolt against David. On top of all this, David's own citizen turn their loyalty towards Absalom. As David was fleeing, there were people who scoff and pelted at him.

In the modern day context, we too face our own "Absalom" who may revolt against us. Our Absalom might not be as dramatic as David’s Absalom but it is enough to cause us pain and sometimes the only option is to run away from the situation. Psalm 3 gives the emotional state of David and how he reacted in this crisis that is affecting him. We can learn something from Psalm 3 on how we can react when our Absalom come pounding on us.

One key lesson we can learn from Psalm 3 is FOCUS. In verse 1 & 2 of Psalm 3, David seems to focus on his hopeless situation. I wonder what happen to the past experiences he had on the Lord's deliverance. Seems like the current issue he is facing has overwhelmed him. But in verse 3 & 4, we notice that David change his focus from the issue to the bigness of His God. As David change his focus, the troubled situation went from hopelessness to confidence. We can observe that hopelessness resulted when David had his eyes focused on his situation but confidence arises when he considered the Lord’s hand in the situation. How different a situation looks like when God is seen as a participant! True faith turns to God in all calamities. He’s our shield from danger, the source of any glory we may have, the lifter of our heads in dejection.

Right Focus produces rest and peace. In verses 5 and 6, we see the evidence of God’s answer to David’s prayer. God answered David’s prayer by giving David peace through the trial, as evidenced by the fact that David could “lie down and sleep”. David receives not only peace of mind (evidenced by his sleep), but also peace in the situation (evidenced by his confidence). David’s confidence in the situation could only have come from the Lord. In the eyes of the world, it is a miraculous confidence that does not fear “the tens of thousands drawn up” on every side.

David ends the Psalm with the prayer to the Lord: “May your blessing be on your people”. Though we pass through trials, God’s blessing is still on us. Moreover, it is stated in the Bible over and over that God’s people are blessed because of their trials - “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

Let us learn to focus our eyes on Jesus, our source of strength and confidence.

Be Blessed.