The Lifter Up of Mine Head
1 LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
3 But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
This week’s text comes from a time when David was on the run from Absalom, his son. To make a long story short, Absalom plotted for four years to overthrow his father by getting the men of Israel to back him. Once this occurred, David found himself in position to do one thing … run! Now the thought I want us to begin with is this: “what do you think David went through?”
David gives some insight into his trial when he says the following: “Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me.” Now, let me remind you that the leader of this uprising was David’s own son, so I am sure that the “many” he faced probably seemed like “many more.” But still, to see David in a position of flight might seem puzzling, especially when we remember that as a youth, David faced a lion, a bear, and a giant— with confidence:
1 Samuel 17:36 – “Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.”
So what happened between the time of Goliath and the time of Absalom’s rebellion? Well, the game changed. You see, David had no close ties to the Philistines, but he did have close ties to his son, and that’s what changed. David was facing totally different obstacles because the enemy’s leader was a loved one. Perhaps, the most prevalent obstacle he faced was the “They say” factor. Let’s return to our text: Psalms 3:2 “Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.”
In the second verse, David recognizes that people were going to talk about him during the “internal” struggle of his house. Of course it is bad when others know your family business, but it’s worse when the wrong people are telling your family business. And to make matters worse, it seems as though a healthy dose of fiction always accompanies the facts and the fiction spreads like wildfire.
Not only does the fiction come out but the “haters” come out as well. Everyone who was jealous of God’s glory and grace in your life will now come out to gloat over the division of your house. They’ll say, “Yeah… he thought he was all that, but if he was, then he would have taken care of business at home” or “Look at Ms. Saved and Sanctified now… If she were hearing from the Lord so clearly, then maybe she wouldn’t have wound up this way!”
Can I just minister to you for a moment. In the midst of the internal struggle, if the children act like heathens, if the spouse wants to quit, if daddy says, “I don’t love you, I never wanted you, You’re not mine,” or if mama hangs out partying longer than you do, know that all is not lost. Yes, beloved of God, I know that it’s enough to make you hang your head in shame; we all may have been there a time or two, but God’s word offers us a promise in the midst of the struggle: Psalms 3:3 “But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.”
Right in the midst of the family mess, right in the center of the internal chaos, the word of God tells us that He will be a shield, a protector, a covering, and a solace. Smack dab in the middle of all hell breaking loose, while the enemy is loose within the gates, God’s promise is, “I’ll protect you.” It doesn’t matter whom the enemy attempts to use or who decides to be his next leader; wherever you are, God is your protector.
Not only is He our protector but this text tells us that He is our glory, translated from the Hebrew word “kabowd” to mean dignity, honor, reputation, and splendor. In other words, the thing that enemy is trying to use to shame us is not the high water mark of our dignity; it does not set the precedent for our honor; it does not establish our reputation, nor does it define our splendor. No, No No! It is God who is our glory! He establishes our dignity, honor, reputation, and splendor. Because we are His, we are associated with His excellence, His glory, and His characteristics.
We can’t walk around dragging our chins to the ground too long before He reminds us in His word, “You are the head and not the tail. I know the plans for you, plans to prosper you. I know the expected end for you, and it’s a good end—an end filled with my promises that you will enjoy during your life time.” He can’t leave us in despair because of our destiny. He can’t leave us wounded because of the work still ahead. He is obligated and committed to restoring us right within our situation. And through His promises and through His compassion, in the midst of the mess and the mayhem, I see a countenance that was once fallen rising again. I see a head that was hung low with shame and disgrace now replaced with shoulders thrown back and a chin lifted high because God is the Lifter Up of your head!