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Covered by the Glory

King David’s song when he was forced to flee from Absalom, his own son

The Humbling of a King

Lord, I have so many enemies, so many who are against me.
Listen to how they whisper their slander against me, saying:
    “Look! He’s hopeless! Even God can’t save him from this!”
Pause in his presence[a]

The Help of God

But in the depths of my heart I truly know
    that you, Yahweh, have become my Shield;
    You take me and surround me with yourself.[b]
    Your glory[c] covers me continually.
    You lift high my head.[d]
I have cried out to you,[e] Yahweh, from your holy presence.[f]
    You send me a Father’s help.
Pause in his presence

The Song of Safety

So now I’ll lie down and sleep like a baby—
    then I’ll awake in safety, for you surround me with your glory.
Even though ten thousand dark powers[g] prowl around me,
    I won’t be afraid.

The Secret of Strength

Rise up and help me, Yahweh! Come and save me, God!
    For you will slap them in the face,
    breaking the power of their words to harm me.[h]
For the Lord alone is my Savior.[i]
    What a feast of favor and bliss he gives his people!
Pause in his presence


  1. 3:2 This is the Hebrew word Selah, a puzzling word to translate. Most scholars believe it is a musical term for pause or rest. It is used seventy-one times in the Psalms as an instruction to the music leader to pause and ponder in God’s presence. An almost identical word, Sela, means “a massive rock cliff.” It is said that when Selah is spoken, the words are carved in stone in the throne room of the heavens.
  2. 3:3 Many translations render this “You are a shield around me.” The ancient Hebrew can be translated “You, O Lord, are my taker” (Augustine). The implication is that God shields us by taking us into himself. Jesus Christ is the taker of humanity, the one who was made flesh. He not only took our nature, he also took our sins that he might take us into glory.
  3. 3:3 Or “my glory.”
  4. 3:3 In the time of David, to lift up the head signified acquittal when judged, being freed from the prison of shame. See 2 Kings 25:27–28; Jer. 52:31.
  5. 3:4 The Hebrew reads “I have cried out to you with my voice.” How else do we cry out to God—isn’t it always with our voice? But the word for “voice” has many different Hebrew meanings. It can also mean “the bleating of a lamb.” David was God’s lamb bleating out to his Shepherd for help.
  6. 3:4 Or “from your holy hill.”
  7. 3:6 Or “military troops.”
  8. 3:7 Or “You broke the teeth [lies] of the wicked.”
  9. 3:8 The Hebrew word used sixty times in the Psalms for deliverance is Yeshuah, a variant form of the name for Jesus. This is pointing us to where our salvation is found.

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