Crying Out: How Many
O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; 2 many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah
3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. 4 I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah
5 I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. 6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.
8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah (Psalm 3)
If we wait till we are in a joyful religious mood to cry out in prayer, then surely our prayer life will be anemic. Many of the psalms help us to pray when we may find ourselves unable to come up with words because our circumstances are overwhelming.
Last week we considered a psalm in which the length of time wearied David. He cried out to the Lord, “how long?” However, in Psalm 3, it is not the span of time that drags David down as much as the many who stand opposed to him. Notice he mentions “many” in each of the first three lines.
Perhaps that is where you find yourself. It may not be the length of this pandemic but the many ways in which it steals from you - loss of economic security, loss of relationships, loss of community, loss of a familiar way of life. It’s not the one thing, but the many.
Yet while David seems overwhelmed by the many who oppose him, he finds confidence in what he knows of God: “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me (verse 3)” and “salvation belongs to the Lord (verse 8).” So even in a trying time, he is able to cry out to the Lord and then lay down and sleep. He knows the Lord will sustain him.
If David can pray in a confidence found in who God is, then we can do this even more so, for we have learned more of Him. In Romans 8:31, we hear the penetrating question posed to us: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” This is a truth to remember when many stand against us.