Psalm 3:1-2 (ESV)

A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

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

The superscription to this Psalm says that it was written by David when he was being pursued by his son Absalom. This may have been the low point of David’s whole life. His own son wants to murder him, his throne is in jeopardy, and the people are generally favourable to his enemies. Times could not be darker.

The interesting thing in the first two verses of this Psalm is the response of the people regarding David’s chances. David has many enemies. His popularity is waning. Looking around, people surmise that not even God can get David out of this mess. What a small God they think David has.

But the opinion is not far off from that of many Christians today. When things are going well some believers hardly think that prayer is required and when they are going badly they opine along the lines that this thing is too big for God to handle. This is rank unbelief.

One wonders how a person can believe that his eternal soul’s fate can be trusted to God but his cancer or debt or wayward children are too big for Him to rectify. The thinking of the people in Psalm 3 and similar thinking among those calling themselves believers have several characteristics that relate to their faith in Christ.

1) They think that their inability to see a solution to the problem means that there isn’t one. “Not even God can fix that!”. This is hubris. It is hubris because it says that there cannot possibly be a way out of this that I don’t know about or cannot foresee.

2) Faithlessness. “We cannot trust God in this situation because God can’t do anything to get us out of it.” This, of course will lead to taking matters into one’s own hands and become a self fulfilling prophecy. Since they know God cannot handle it they forsake God and things do truly get out of hand. This proves to them that they were right in not leaving things with God in the first place.

3) Denial of the Scriptures. The Bible is plain that all things work together for good to those who love God and are His called ones. But these people know better than that. They know that nothing good will come of it because not even God can make it turn for good. The Bible was wrong in this particular situation, as far as they are concerned.

4) Ignorance of the Scriptures. They need to read the story of David and see who won between him and Absalom. They need to see that the cross is a great victory. They need to read of Joseph and see the mighty providence of God at work through great distressing events. They need to read of Daniel and Jonah and Hosea and Habakkuk and The Apostle Paul and Peter. They should Hebrews 11 and then spend time in the Book of Revelation, not to figure out the future, but to see the sovereign hand of God bringing history to its designed end. And they need to read biographies of Christians who saw great things for good come out of great lives of difficulty.

The true believer will never say “there is no hope.” There is always hope as long as there is God and there will always be God.