Read Psalm 3
Focus on verses 1-2
The international distress signal S.O.S. is a last desperate cry for help from a sinking ship. It indicates that there is little hope for those on board unless someone happens to hear the distress call and responds in time to save them.
Psalm three is a psalm of David, written when he was running for his life from his son Absalom who was leading a rebellion against his father. I cannot imagine the conflicting feelings that must have consumed David during this time. It is one thing to be attacked by an enemy, it is quite another when it is you own son. David loved Absalom as he loved all his children, but he also had a responsibility to lead and protect the people that were loyal to him.
This psalm is a snapshot of David’s heart in the midst of this civil war in a divided nation. It is interesting that with God, David is honest in regard to his fear as he considers the growing number of people that seem to have joined Absalom. As he delivers this S.O.S. message to God, he finds that he is also firm in his faith, trusting that the Lord will deliver him somehow.
When that deliverance comes in the form of Absalom’s death in the battle that ensues, David is visibly distraught as any father would be. His anguish is multiplied when he realizes that he cannot express his grief openly without demoralizing his loyal followers because Absalom was also the enemy.
David faced some unusually difficult challenges during his lifetime, and seems to have learned early in his life that the safest place to take his pain, his fear, his joy, his questions…was always to the Lord. I suspect that the reason he left the lasting legacy that he is know for was not because he was a perfect king, but rather that he always returned to God in humility when his mistakes caught up with him.