Psalm 3 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Lord Helps His Troubled People
A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son.
3 Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
2 Many are they who say of me,
“There is no help for him in God.” Selah
3 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
4 I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah
5 I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Arise, O Lord;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah
This is a psalm appropriate for Father’s Day. When we read it, it doesn’t seem like it, but it is about a rebellious son and a father too busy and too remote to instruct his children in wisdom. Thus, it contains a lesson for us.
Absalom was one of David’s many sons. 2 Samuel 13-18 tells the story of his rebellion. Rebellion is an ugly thing. War is an ugly thing. When people we trust turn against us, we hurt. David hurt. So David was angry with the leaders he had depended upon to advise him and carry out his commands. Yet when Absalom‘s rebellion failed and his son died, David wept for him. Perhaps David understood that even though Absalom had led the rebellion David had failed him first.
How did David fail as a father? He began by collecting wives. As Why did God allow polygamy / bigamy in the Bible? (gotquestions.org) observes, while the Bible does not specifically prohibit polygamy, it make it quite clear God frowns on the practice. In fact Deuteronomy 17:14-20, which lists the principles governing kings, contains a specific prohibition against multiplying wives. David and later his son Solomon violated that principle. 1 Chronicles 3:1-9 and 1 Chronicles 14:1-7 tells us that David had many wives and many children by these wives.
As the story of David, Bathsheba, and Uriah illustrates (see 2 Samuel 11-12), because of his lustfulness David sinned greatly. The mere sight of a beautiful woman was enough to cause him to betray a man who had been faithful to him. Instead of loving relationship with a woman, David had a harem, a “marriage” structure too complex for the purpose of raising children.
Consider what is too common today. When we divorce and remarry repeatedly, doesn’t that complicate properly raising children? Consider also why King Solomon wrote this proverb (which also appears at Proverbs 25:24).
Proverbs 21:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
Can you imagine the “joy” of being married to a thousand contentious women?
The Bible also hints at David was too indulgent with his children. After Absalom had failed in his rebellion, when David had grown quite old, Adonijah, another son of David, attempted to seize the throne. 1 Kings 1 tells us how Adonijah failed in his attempt. In the next chapter (1 Kings 2:13-25), the Bible explains why Solomon had his brother executed.
How might David have prevented Adonijah’s rebellion? One verse suggests the answer.
1 Kings 1:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 (And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, “Why have you done so?” He was also very good-looking. His mother had borne him after Absalom.)
So why is King David still considered a hero the Bible? David was a sinful man, but God provided him a way to obtain saving grace. Each time David sinned eventually he admitted his sin, confessed his sin to God, honestly repented, and begged forgiveness. Nevertheless, David suffered for his sins when his sons rebelled.
What can we do? We can do what the Bible says. We can instruct our children in Biblical wisdom. We can work with our children. We can seek the help of a good church. We can take control over the education of our children and strive to control our children’s access to the mass media.
Will any of this be easy? No. The world and our own sinfulness will seek to thwart our efforts. Therefore, we must each beg our Lord for His help.
- Deconstructing young minds (washingtontimes.com)
- Psalm 3 (en.wikipedia.org)
- John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible (wesley.nnu.edu)
- Gill’s Exposition of Psalm 3 (biblehub.com)
- Wolves in shepherd’s clothing (washingtontimes.com)
- Happy Toxic Masculinity Day! (insanitybytes2.wordpress.com)
- King Solomon Discernment of Suicide Rates in USA (rudymartinka.com)