But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the LORD with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah Psalm 3:3-4 (NKJV)
I read something this week that said God will never give us a life that makes Him unnecessary. I love that. It’s so simple and yet, in my mind, so profound. It just makes good sense that God isn’t going to make Himself unnecessary for us. Trials, hardships and conflicts are part of the things that remind us that we absolutely need Jesus.
When this trial comes David immediately turns to God for help. One of the things I think is really neat is that David doesn’t out by praying for help. Instead he starts out by stating his confidence in God. That may seem like a small thing but I really think it’s significant. Think of the situation. David’s own son has rebelled against him and is seeking to kill him. Some of his own friends have turned on him. The people and army who once thought he was great have decided they like the usurping son better than David.
Yet when David first turns to God his first statement is, “God I still trust you.” David starts off his prayer with a statement of his continued faith in God. This trial hasn’t shaken David’s confidence that God is his shield. This trial hasn’t shaken David’s confidence that God is at work in his life. This trial hasn’t shaken David’s confidence that will take care of him.
He calls God his shield. The shield of course was used for protection. Used properly it could protect the soldier from the blows of a sword and the shot of an arrow. Throughout David’s life God protected him. There are at least a couple of times where the Bible tells us that the Lord preserved David wherever he went. This trial didn’t change David’s opinion that God was protecting him.
He also calls God his glory. This is his way of saying that God is the only thing he is glorying in. David is saying he may have lost his home, his kingdom and may end up losing his life, he still has God and that is the best thing ever. David may have lost all his worldly possessions but as long as God was with him he had everything that was really important. The only thing in his life really worthy glorying about was God and God was still with him despite this trial.
He also said that God was the one that would lift up his head. What David is saying here is that while his head may be hung low in sorrow now, God will eventually make a way for him to hold his head up in joy. David trusted that the same God who had led him into this dark valley would eventually lead him out onto the mountain top.
Martin Luther said about this verse, “The words contained in this verse are not the words of nature, but of grace…the spirit of strong faith; which, even though seeing God, as in the darkness of the storm of death and hell, a deserting God, acknowledges him a sustaining God; when seeing him as a condemner, acknowledges him a Saviour. Thus this faith does not judge of things according as they seem to be… but it understands things which are not seen…” That is exactly what we see here. David’s eyes of faith saw what natural eyes could not see.
Then David mentions that he cried out to God. The word “cried” is in the imperfect tense which means a repeated action or habit. David didn’t just cry out to God once and then say, “I’m good.” He continually cried out to the Lord until he knew that God had heard him. That is what we see in the last of the verse. I love, love, love that God heard him.
When this trial came into David’s life he immediately recognized his need for God. He knew that God was the only one that could help him in this time of trouble. His enemies were gaining in number and strength and the only person that could help David was his God.
We must understand that one of the reasons that Jesus allows or even sends trials into our lives is to remind us of our great need for Him. I think it also causes us to question what really matters in our lives. For all intensive purposes David had just lost everything that had any sort of monetary and worldly value. If you remember the story someone else brought them food.
They basically got out of Jerusalem with nothing but the clothes on their backs, the supplies they could carry in their packs and the animals they were riding on. In the midst of losing everything he says that God is his shield and his glory. This trial had forced David to evaluate his life and see what was really important. In the end he recognized that what was most important, all he really needed what God.
Have you ever seen the movie The Jerk? If you have you know that there is a scene where Steve Martin goes from being extravagantly wealthy to broke. As he is walking out of his house he is saying that he doesn’t need anything. He just needs this chair…and this yo-yo and this… It’s a pretty funny scene because he’s saying with his mouth he doesn’t need anything but he’s showing with his actions that he needs all these things.
Isn’t it easy for us to do that? We say that we know we need Jesus and are relying on Jesus. Yet the lives we live so often tell a different story. There is nothing like a trial, hardship or conflict to remind us that we desperately need God. We would be foolish to think that God doesn’t send or allow these times in our lives to remind us that we are not in control but that He is, of our smallness and of His greatness and that we desperately and constantly need Him.
 C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David