3But you, Lord, are my protector,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4I cried out with my voice to the Lord,
and he heard me from his holy mountain.
In his repentance, David recognizes the truth of his situation. Enemies may attack him on all sides, and even from within his own family, but his security lies in his faith in God, and not in his failures as a sinful human.
“But you, O LORD, are a shield about me,” is both a prayer and a statement of fact. The LXX picks up the right interpretation of the meaning by saying that God is a “protector”. As I said in the First Impressions post, this should put Eph. 6:16 and the shield of faith right into our minds.
How is God our protector, our shield? Through our faith in the Gospel message of salvation. Eph. 6:16 states that the purpose of the shield of faith is to, “extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” What a perfect remedy to stand against the attacks of our enemies, and of the enemy himself!
We recognize that our standing before God is based on the saving work of Jesus Christ who went to the cross in our place, and not on our own personal successes or failures. When we are attacked, we can rest on the promise of Rom. 8:38-39: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God not only serves as our protector against the onslaught of our enemies, but he also works on us individually. David confesses that God is, “my glory, and the lifter of my head.” This is yet another bold announcement of Gospel truth.
If you jump ahead to Ps. 27:5-6, you will see that at least part of the idea of lifting one’s head is a change in status. We are made better than our enemies because God has given us a better eternity. This change of status is illustrated in the New Testament by the change from the picture of a broken sinner in Luke 18:13 to one who can “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace,” (Heb. 4:16). Again, and as stated in verse three, this is all accomplished by God, not by us.
In verse four, we have the realization of the promise contained in Joel 2:32 and cited in Rom.10:13. When we are confronted by God’s righteous requirements for us in the Law we can do nothing but see our failures, be broken by our sin, and cry out in despair. It is this cry that God promises to hear and answer with the sweet promises of the Gospel.
This is precisely what happened to David and what happens to each one of us who have been touched by the grace and mercy offered to us freely by Jesus Christ our Lord. How comforting it is to know that God not only hears our prayers, but “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,” (Eph. 3:20). This happens to us each and every day in our prayer life, but finds its ultimate fulfillment in the Gospel, which is beyond anything that any of us could have ever dreamed.