In Psalm 3, David is almost overwhelmed by the increase of his enemies, and the hopelessness of his situation. And this was not only his own perception. Verse 2 says “MANY are saying of my soul, ‘there is no deliverance for him in God.'” It looked very bleak, and the “Selah” probably indicates a pause to meditate on the situation, which at that time looked hopeless. But the next words would change everything:
Verse 3 in English begins, “BUT YOU O LORD”. It is literally, “But YOU, Yahweh …”. The first words after the dramatic description of the hopeless nature of David’s situation, these words are in an emphatic position: “BUT YOU!” They emphasize the difference that God made in David’s life in this situation:
The “many” WOULD have been right about his situation, were there no God.
He WOULD have been hopeless, without God.
We WOULD have had no help, were it not for God.
“But You, O Yahweh” — but The Lord IS with David! As the verse goes on to say, He is his “shield”, “glory”, and “the lifter of my head.” And that made everything different for him.
It does for us too. These words are reminiscent of those we find in Ephesians 2, where it describes how all humanity were dead in sin, without hope, under the sway of the evil one, and then :4 breaks on the scene with its dramatic words, “BUT GOD, being rich in mercy … made us alive together with Christ … by grace are you saved …”. Just like David, we had no hope — BUT GOD intervened and sent Jesus to save us. “BUT GOD” made all the difference.
And it does in the individual difficulties we face as well. When like David we are up against it, and “many” are saying there is no hope for us, if we know Jesus as our Savior, then we have this hope: “BUT GOD.” There is no hopeless situation for us, when God is in the equation!
Perhaps you need to look at a circumstance in your life today in the light of these words. What difference does it make for what you are facing, that you know and serve God? Pray about your situation today — and face the facts honestly — but then pray as David did, “BUT YOU ….” and let Him remind you of the difference that He makes!