Signed, Sealed, and Delivered I’m Yours – Psalm 3:7-8

Psalm 3:7-8 (For the first three installments of this study, click here, here, and here)

Septuagint Translation

7Arise, Lord!

            Save me, my God!

     Because you struck everyone who hates me without reason;

            you break the teeth of the sinful.

8Salvation is from the Lord;

            your blessing be on your people.

So far in this psalm, we have seen David lamenting over his predicament and subsequent attacks by his enemies.  He has remembered the salvation of the Lord and found comfort enough in it to rest and be refreshed.  Now, realizing he stands in a right relationship with God, he prays for and celebrates deliverance.

“Arise, O LORD!” is a bold prayer and call for God to act (see Num. 10:35).  Commentators Keil and Delitzsch say, “God is said to arise when He takes a decisive part in what takes place in this world.”[1]  The fact that God works repeatedly in human history makes it no wonder that the psalmist wrote, “Who is like the LORD our God,” (Ps. 113:5).

The salvation that God brings is the defeat of the opposition.  The type of blow, the shattering of teeth, that God delivers demonstrates the decisive nature of the defeat.  “The enemies are conceived of as monsters given to biting, and the picture of their fate is fashioned according to this conception.”[2]

I can’t help but see the fulfillment of Gen. 3:15 in this verse.  This is where having a knowledge of the Greek language and access to the LXX has been immensely helpful.  The word translated “arise” in Greek is the same root for the word “resurrection”.   When looking at the big picture, Jesus’ resurrection was the final blow that crushed the head of the serpent.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (1 Pet. 1:3, emphasis mine).

We have in this verse the tremendous announcement that God has crushed our enemies in defeat.  This picture is enriched by the language of the LXX.  While the English[3] uses a verb in the present tense, the Greek uses an aorist[4] tense.  The aorist tense is often used to state the fact that something happened in the past.  “The aorist is the indefinite tense that states only the fact of the action without specifying its duration.”[5]  “It may be helpful to think of the aorist as taking a snapshot of the action.”[6]

What this all means is that our salvation in Jesus Christ is a sure thing.  It’s a fact that we can rest on because the defeat of sin, death, and the devil happened in Jesus’ death and resurrection.  I loved this quote from a post by Dr. Rod Rosenblat on Tullian Tchividjian’s blog:

A friend of mine was walking down a street in Minneapolis one day and was confronted by an evangelical brother who asked, “Brother, are you saved?” Hal rolled his eyes back and said, “Yes.” That didn’t satisfy this brother, so he said, “Well, when were you saved?” Hal said, “About two thousand years ago, about a twenty minutes’ walk from downtown Jerusalem.” This is the gospel message.

The content of verse seven makes the beginning of verse eight a beautifully obvious statement.  “Salvation belongs to the LORD.”  Salvation does belong to the Lord.  He is the One who delivered the final blow to our enemies.  He is the One who freely gives us salvation as a gift (Rom. 6:23).

“Your blessing be on your people!”  We, God’s people, are the ones He has purchased by the shedding of His own blood (Acts 20:28).  We are the ones who have received this wonderful blessing!

[1] Keil, Johann (C.F.) and Franz Delitzsch, Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament (e-sword, version 7.9.8), taken from Ps. 3:7-8.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Translating from the original Hebrew text, which I am not capable of doing.

[4] Aorist is pronounced “air – ist”

[5] Mounce, William D., Basics of Biblical Greek (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), 193.

[6] Wallace, Daniel B., Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 555.

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  1. Responding to Psalm 3 « ophelimos

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