Verse 3. Here David avows his confidence in God.
Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me. The word in the original signifies more than a shield; it means a buckler round about, a protection which shall surround a man entirely, a shield above, beneath, around, without and within. Oh! what a shield is God for his people! He wards off the fiery darts of Satan from beneath, and the storms of trials from above, while, at the same instant, he speaks peace to the tempest within the breast. Thou art my glory. David knew that though he was driven from his capital in contempt and scorn, he should yet return in triumph, and by faith he looks upon God as honouring and glorifying him. O for grace to see our future glory amid present shame! Indeed, there is a present glory in our afflictions, if we could but discern it; for it is no mean thing to have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. David was honoured when he made the ascent of Olivet, weeping, with his head covered; for he was in all this made like unto his Lord. May we learn, in this respect, to glory in tribulations also!
And the lifter up of mine head -- thou shalt yet exalt me. Though I hang my head in sorrow, I shall very soon lift it up in joy and thanksgiving. What a divine trio of mercies is contained in this verse! -- defence for the defenceless, glory for the despised, and joy for the comfortless. Verily we may well say, "there is none like the God of Jeshurun."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 3. Lifter up of my head. God will have the body partake with the soul -- as in matters of grief, so in matters of joy; the lantern shines in the light of the candle within. Richard Sibbs, 1639.
There is a lifting up of the head by elevating to office, as with Pharaoh's butler; this we trace to the divine appointment. There is a lifting up in honour after shame, in health after sickness, in gladness after sorrow, in restoration after a fall, in victory after a temporary defeat; in all these respects the Lord is the lifter up of our head. C.H.S.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 3. The threefold blessing which God affords to his suffering ones -- Defence, Honour, Joy. Show how all these may be enjoyed by faith, even in our worst estate.