“LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.”
One thing that makes the Psalms so appreciated is the way the writer so often speaks of his personal trouble and emotional struggles. Many times it seems that the Psalmist somehow knows where we are, what we are going through, and how we feel. This passage is no exception. He was dealing with the opposition, discouraging rhetoric, accusations, and criticisms of many. The voices of his enemies were painting a very bleak picture and suggesting that even God could not help him. Those voices, if we believe their false information, can cause great distress to our souls.
The Psalmist made sure that his trust was in the Lord. Notice that these words are a prayer of David. He is speaking personally to the Lord, not only in pointing out the verbal attacks of the enemies, but also in expressing his confidence in God. David saw God as a shield of protection. The Lord would see Him through this battle as He had done in so many times past. God was his glory. It is said that David wrote this psalm on the occasion of his fleeing Jerusalem when Absalom stole the kingdom. David knew that God could restore his honor and position.
David knew the Lord as “the lifter up of mine head.” The phrase the lifter of my head means that God is the one that raises us up when we feel cast down. He lifts us from the state of discouragement or despondency. In times of trouble, the head is naturally bowed down. Psalm 35:14 says, “I bowed down heavily,” and Psalm 38:6 says, “I am bowed down greatly.” Problems come in many different shapes and sizes. It might be physical setbacks, financial struggles, the loss of a friend, family conflicts, ministry disappointments, betrayals, etc. Those problems can cause our heads to hang low, both figuratively and literally.
David knew the One who would be able to lift up his head from despair. Should we not also turn to Him and trust Him to be the lifter of our heads? Sometimes we forget that He is the primary source of our encouragement. When circumstances cause our heads to stoop, we can turn to God and know that He can lift us up, enable us to rejoice, and we can find courage and hope in Him.