God is there when we need Him. And for true Christians, who honestly try to follow Jesus, He’s with us all the time. We might not feel like it. But He is.
Psalm 3 A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom. Ps 3:1 O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Ps 3:2 Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” Selah Ps 3:3 But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. Ps 3:4 To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah Ps 3:5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. Ps 3:6 I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side. Ps 3:7 Arise, O LORD! Deliver me, O my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. Ps 3:8 From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. Selah
We make our relationship with God so difficult
Just like with Psalm 2, we make things so difficult. And again, I guess when you’re a person, that’s what you do.
The reality that we don’t feel like God is present doesn’t that He’s truly not there. It means that we don’t realize God is with us. We’ll get to the difference between true believers and everyone else, those who don’t believe either intentionally or because they don’t really try to follow Jesus.
As with all Psalms, this is an Old Testament passage. And yet, once again, there are things to learn from it.
Here’s some background on Psalm 3
It has been called a morning psalm because of verse 5: “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.” At first glance this does not seem sufficient reason to call Psalm 3 a morning psalm, as most commentators both past and present do. But I am convinced that, if the introductory title is taken seriously, as I want to show it should be, the psalm does describe a specific dangerous morning in the life of King David and is a testimony to how he gained confidence and courage at that time and in those dangerous circumstances by his faith in God. Because of that setting, the psalm seems to have become thought of, in time, as a general morning prayer and therefore was placed appropriately at this early position in the Psalter. 1
Of course, read the whole thing. But verses 7 and 8 are where I want to focus today.
As it says in the note at the top of the Psalm, David was running from his son, Absalom. Absalom had gathered a bunch of men to help him become king, in place of David. For more on that, I invite you to read 2 Samuel 15.
Ps 3:7 Arise, O LORD!
Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
Ps 3:8 From the LORD comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
Of course, Absalom did not succeed. The lesson for us to learn is that God always there.
However, as mentioned previously, things aren’t quite the same for believers as for non-believers.
God is there for non-believers.
Yes, God really is there for non-believers. At any time, a heartfelt call to God to know Him will be answered. Will God do everything a non-believer wants? Well, no. As we’ll see, He doesn’t even do that for believers. But there is this for anyone who wants to know God.
Ask, Seek, Knock – Matthew
7:7-11 pp — Lk 11:9-13
Mt 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Mt 7:9 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
While everyone can knock, we don’t get to ask for just anything. Non-believers can ask to know God. To begin the journey to becoming a believer, getting baptized, and living with the Holy Spirit. To live as a Christian.
God is there for believers
Here’s the difference for believers.
Jesus the Way to the Father
Jn 14:5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jn 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Jn 14:8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
Jn 14:9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
At this point, Jesus isn’t addressing everyone. This is for believers. People who truly follow Jesus. Notice the last two verses/
13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Here’s the thing about in my name. The things believers know to ask for are things that will bring glory to the Father. That’s not likely to be tons of money, or fancy cars, or a whole bunch of other things. Further, our motives for asking need to even be with the goal to bring glory to God. Not glory to us and God. Glory to God.
Conclusion – God is there when we need Him
In David’s case, the request and the answer were relatively immediate. That’s the way things tended to be back then. There wasn’t a concept of eternal life with God. That was introduced into Jewish beliefs sometime between the last writings in the Old Testament and when Jesus began His ministry here on earth. And even in Jesus’ time, there were disagreements within the Jewish leadership as to whether resurrection and eternal life were true.
Of course, now, Christianity has resurrection and eternal life with Jesus as a core tenet.
As such, when we read Old Testament passages, such as this one, we must consider the relative immediacy of God’s response to – as opposed to what should be our eternally long view of things. Sometimes God answers quickly. Sometimes God says no. And sometimes God even silently says, not yet.
But, no matter what response we get to any request of ours, resurrection and eternity with God is promised to all true believers.
Hopefully you noticed that I keep referring to true believers. Here’s why. Even many Christians know John 3:16. But it;s also true that not every Christians knows and realizes what the rest of that passage says. So here it is.
Jn 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
It shows that there are differences between believers and non-believers.
However, when we really understand what Jesus meant by the word we read as simple “believe”, there’s much to the belief He spoke of.
It means that our belief is so strong that it will result in our life changing to actually follow what Jesus taught and even commanded.
For today’s topic, it means we understand that God really is with us. All the time. It means we know it’s us hiding from God, not the other way around. But the, even knowing that, it doesn’t mean we never feel like He’s not there. We are human after all. We’re not perfect.
Hopefully though, we come around to realizing that God is still with us. And He’s patiently waiting and even prompting us to return to Him.
Image by John Hain from Pixabay
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