Maranatha (Psalm 3)
Reflections on Psalm 3
Though gallant and fierce, Rohan’s noble knights were doomed. Trapped within the thick walls of Helm’s Deep, the men and women could but watch as the besieging hordes of Isengard massed. While the fortress’s defenses protected the Rohirrim from orcs on the outside, hunger and thirst could breach right to the throats and stomachs of the besieged. Unless help came, those huddled behind the walls would succumb to shattering loss.
Despite bleak prospects, Rohan’s stoic king Theoden defied those gathered against his own. Through rainy night and outnumbering enemy forces, the monarch clinged to the parting promise of Gandalf. “Look to my coming,” the wizard assured, “on the first light of the fifth day, at dawn look to the east.” When the pledged timeframe was on the edge of expiration, the embattled knights of Rohan turned their eyes to the east. A silhouette outlined against the resplendence of the rising sun, Gandalf and his mounted reinforcements cast salvific light upon Helm’s Deep’s diminishing armies. Roaring like a crushing wave, the wizard’s legions rushed over the monstrous foes. In a shining moment, Rohan was saved and the hope of men blazed on.
Like King Theoden shuttered within Helm’s Deep, we are huddled against the onslaught of many foes. Whether they be sin or suffering, we feel embattled by overwhelming enemies. With David we dejectedly utter, “Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!” (Psalm 3:1). So great is the darkness mounted against us, our neighbors even seem to say, “God will not deliver him” (Psalm 3:2). When we feel utterly lost to temptation and tribulation, let us look to the east.
In the middle of his trials, David recalled this confidence he had: “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me” (Psalm 3:5). In every battle, the Lord is a fortress stronger than Helm’s Deep and a deliverer more glorious than Gandalf in the morning’s first light. The battle will be fierce. We will unsheathe our swords as we struggle against sin and evil. The conflict will endure for many dark days. Our Savior will come, however, and complete our victory. On that day, we will lay down our swords and bask in the sweet sunlight. Endure the battle and fight bravely, for our King is coming. Maranatha*
*This is an Aramaic phrases that means “our Lord comes”.
Footsteps—putting feet on our faith
1. What battles are you fighting in your life?
2. How are you feeling about them at the moment?
3. How does this Psalm inspire new hope in you?
Dear God, I fight a bitter battle. Sin and temptation mount a fierce resistance to your work in my life. Why would they concede the ground your Spirit has claimed? Give me strength to endure the fight, and help me to always remember the final victory you have promised. In Christ I pray, amen.