Confidence in the Face of Danger
KING DAVID faced a very difficult situation. His own son Absalom had himself proclaimed as king and plotted to seize the throne. This rebellious son built up such a large following that David was forced to flee from the capital city Jerusalem. Nevertheless, David continued putting his full trust in Jehovah God.
This is evident from the melody that David composed when running away from Absalom. (Psalm 3, superscription) A messenger reported: “The heart of the men of Israel has come to be behind Absalom.” (2 Sam. 15:13) The fact that this had developed perplexed David. He wondered why it had happened and how it was possible for Absalom to get such tremendous backing. Therefore, in Psalm 3, David exclaims: “O Jehovah, why have my adversaries become many? Why are many rising up against me?”—Ps 3 Vs. 1.
The situation was so threatening that many Israelites concluded that not even the Most High could deliver David from falling before Absalom and his men. Commenting on this, David said: “Many are saying of my soul: ‘There is no salvation for him by God.’” (Ps. 3:2) But did this weaken David’s confidence? No, for he continued: “And yet you, O Jehovah, are a shield about me, my glory and the One lifting up my head. With my voice I shall call to Jehovah himself, and he will answer me from his holy mountain.”—Ps. 3:3, 4.
David viewed Jehovah as the One who would safeguard him from calamity, protecting him just as a shield protects a warrior. When fleeing from Absalom, David walked barefoot, weeping and with his head covered. (2 Sam. 15:30) Certainly his head was bent down in humiliation. Still, David did not doubt that the Most High would change his state to one of glory and raise up his head, enabling him to hold his head high, erect. That is why he called out to Jehovah for help, confident that he would answer. Since the ark of the covenant, a symbol of Jehovah’s presence, had been taken back to Mount Zion, David appropriately referred to having his prayer answered from God’s holy mountain.—2 Sam. 15:24, 25.
Hence, even at night, when the danger from a surprise attack was the greatest, David was not in dread, afraid to go to sleep. We read his words: “As for me, I will lie down that I may sleep; I shall certainly awake, for Jehovah himself keeps supporting me.” (Ps. 3:5) Expressing his firm conviction in Jehovah’s ability to save, David wrote: “I shall not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves in array against me round about. Do arise, O Jehovah! Save me, O my God! For you will have to strike all my enemies on the jaw. The teeth of wicked ones you will have to break. Salvation belongs to Jehovah. Your blessing is upon your people.”—Ps. 3:6-8.
For David’s enemies to have their teeth broken would signify that their power to injure was crushed. It was Jehovah alone who could bring such deliverance. That is why the psalmist acknowledged ‘salvation as belonging to Jehovah.’ Then, as he thought about his personal difficulties, David was prompted to consider God’s people as a whole and prayed for divine blessing to be on them.
Like David, we should not yield to the fear of men. Regardless of what wicked persons might do, Jehovah will not forsake his people, and permit their being effaced from the earth. May we also, therefore, continue ascribing salvation to the Most High.