The imagery in Psalm 3 is very ‘superhero’, which is perfect for God. Yesterday, I explained to my students the difference between a tragic hero and a Romantic hero, which wasn’t easy given that the two examples (Macbeth and Arthur) did, in fact, end in death–kind of tragically. But what i came down to in the end, I explained, is not only a pattern that hero follows (archetype), but the legacy they leave behind. Romantic heroes always offer hope in the end.
Tragic heroes leave nothing but despair.
In the Psalm the speaker is surrounded by his enemies, probably literally, and he calls upon God to be his hero. God shows up. I’m sure, in war, what we don’t see is the tragedy that surrounds the speaker, but what we do see is the hope. God surrounding him, shielding him and giving him rest–something to believe in which does lead him to victory.
With this renewed strength, the psalmist rises out of his despair and asks God to PUNCH HIS ENEMIES IN THE FACE (verse 7). Savage.
But war is savage.
And when we fight our own battles, we need to look our fears and insecurities and doubts in the face and then ask God to KNOCK THEIR TEETH OUT (verse 7). It’s funny how less threatening any enemy is without teeth. But God is the only one who can break through those lies and breathe hope and truth and peace into our future.
Because sometimes we are surrounded, but God is our hero and he will punch our enemies in the face if we call upon Him. He cares that much.
Questions to ponder:
1) God is a Romantic Hero, so what hope does he offer me today?
2) What do I need to look in the face and ask God to punch and knock the teeth out of?
3) Why does God require me to call out to Him? Why doesn’t he just ride in on a white horse?