Rise Up, O Lord

But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.
(Psalm 3:3)

Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God! For You have smitten all my enemies on the cheek; You have shattered the teeth of the wicked. Salvation {Victory} belongs to the LORD. Your blessings {favor} rest upon Your people. Selah (Psalm 3:7-8)

The Lord often uses Psalm 3:3 to encourage me. It’s comforting to know that He is not only my protector, a shield about me, but also the lifter of my head. I often pray Psalm 3:3 when I’m in need of encouragement and ask the Lord to lift my head to Him, my glory. More than once the Lord has used the song ‘A Shield About Me’ at a perfect time; He can lift your head in an instant! The last time I was praying and pondering Psalm 3, it was the last two verses 7-8 that caught my attention. The phrase ‘Arise, O LORD; save me’ sounds a lot like the prayer Moses would say whenever the ark set out.

So they departed from the mountain of the LORD on a journey of three days; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them for the three days’ journey, to search out a resting place for them. And the cloud of the LORD was above them by day when they went out from the camp. So it was whenever the ark set out, that Moses said: Rise up, O LORD! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You. And when it rested, he said: Return, O LORD, to the many thousands of Israel.
(Numbers 10:33-36)

There are some key things to notice in this passage — this journey in search of a resting place.

1. Obedience – Moses and this group of people set out on this journey in obedience to the LORD’s command. They set out, this first time, at the LORD’s command through Moses. –Numbers 10:13
2. Complete Trust in the LORD & His presence – Moses and this people had seen the cloud lift from the tabernacle. The cloud symbolized God’s presence with them, His protection and provision. They knew they were headed for the promised land but they did not know where they would find rest each day, or provisions for their families. The cloud and the Ark of the Covenant went before the people preparing the way. As they started out, they had complete trust in the Lord, His protection, His provision, and His presence to lead and guide them.
3. Prayer and Praise – Whenever the Ark of the Covenant moves forward or comes to rest, Moses shouts aloud words of prayer and praise.

This passage presents a good model of how we should follow the Lord. We should follow where His presence leads in obedience and complete trust, with prayer and praise. The following word study reveals an even deeper understanding of this. From NETBIBLE http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Num&chapter=10&verse=35.

Rise up, O LORD! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You. (Numbers 10:35)

The Hebrew word for rise in Numbers 10:35 is quwm. One meaning of this word is ‘to be raised up’ This together with the ‘3 days journey’ of the Ark of the Covenant, the Presence of the Lord, to seek a resting place; makes this prayer prophetic. The prayer seems to look forward to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Christ’s resurrection, his enemies, even the last enemy, death, was defeated. Jesus through His resurrection has now become our rest (Hebrews 4).

This word rise up — arise, along with a foreshadowing of Christ’s resurrection is also found in Psalm 68 affirming that the prayer of Moses is prophetic.

May God arise , may His enemies be scattered; may His foes flee before Him. As smoke is blown away by the wind, may You blow them away; as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God. But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joy.
(Psalm 68:1-3)

You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there. Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Selah. God is to us a God of deliverances; And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.
(Psalm 68:18-20)

Arise found in Psalm 132 links Zion with the Lord’s eternal resting place.

Let us go into His dwelling place; Let us worship at His footstool. Arise, O LORD, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength. Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your saints shout for joy.
(Psalm 132:7-9)

The LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
(Psalm 132:13-14)

When Jesus returns and makes all things new, our supreme rest and final resting place will be fully realized.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
(Revelation 21:4)

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
(Revelation 22:1-2)

Paniym is the word for the Lord’s manifest presence — the same word used here:

Then he {Moses} said to Him, If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?
(Exodus 33:15-16)

Moses is unwilling to go anywhere without the Lord’s presence! Even if accompanied by an angel of the Lord (Exodus 33:2), Moses wouldn’t go; for it’s the Lord’s manifest presence that distinguishes His people and shows His favor.

The cry ‘Rise up, Arise, O Lord’ now has more meaning to me. It’s a cry to keep the resurrection of Jesus Christ, His victory ever before us. It’s a cry for the Lord’s manifest presence, His favor to come and rest upon His people. It’s a cry for the Lord’s protection, provision, blessing and victory to be displayed in the lives of His people in a visible way. It’s a cry to follow the risen Lord in obedience and complete trust with prayer and praise. This was the cry of Moses. The following plea of Moses reveals the kind of heart that the Lord turns His face towards and shows His favor to.

Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.
(Exodus 33:13)

The Lord turns His face towards the heart that sincerely wants to know and follow His ways. For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. (2 Chronicles 16:9) It’s the fully committed heart that will prepare a place for the Lord’s manifest presence to rest, to display the Lord’s favor and victory, the living word of Christ.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
(Colossians 3:12-17)

‘Let the living word of Christ dwell’, the above passage gives some key ways to do this!

1. Put off the old; put on the new Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; with love.
2. Forgive as the Lord forgives.
3. Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.
4. Be thankful.

As each of us does this individually, the living word of Christ will dwell richly in our heart. The more we are able to do this the more the Lord’s favor, His manifest presence will be seen in our life.

After each has done this individually, look how we are to come together corporately.

1. Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
2. Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

As hearts where the word of Christ dwells richly come together in worship, the Lord’s presence is manifested even more. He inhabits and is enthroned in, the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3). This allows us to hear corporately: to teach and admonish one another with all wisdom. As our hearts and ears are opened to hear His word individually and then corporately, our faith will be increased. For faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17). This greatly pleases the Lord. For, without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

This coming together of hearts where the word of Christ dwells richly turns God’s face towards His people, displaying His favor, His manifest presence. The following shows that it’s the Lord’s favor that confirms and establishes the work of His people’s hands! The Lord’s favor, His manifest presence, is beautiful.

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.
(Psalm 90:17 NKJV)

May the favour of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-yes, establish the work of our hands.
(Psalm 90:17 NIV)

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
(Psalm 90:17 NASB)

And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us, confirming the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!
(Psalm 90:17 MSG)

Let the pleasure of the Lord our God be on us: O Lord, give strength to the work of our hands.
(Psalm 90:17 BBE)

The Lord, our shield, His glory, His beauty, His manifest Presence our refuge, our joy, our rest, our peace. The following verse and word study adds even more depth to the understanding of just what this shield about us is.

..then the LORD will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a defense. And there will be a shelter for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.
(Isaiah 4:5-6)

Take another look at Psalm 3. The Lord, His manifest presence a shield about me. His presence, His favor, my glory; a covering and glorious defense. As individual hearts prepare a place for the living word of Christ to dwell and then meet corporately, enthroning the Lord on their praises and shouts of joy; a Holy Habitation is created. A Holy Temple built by His hand, where His beauty rests and His glory is displayed. Victory belongs to the Lord, His blessings and favor rest upon His people. Sing and shout for joy! Shout the victory!

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
(Ephesians 2:19-22)

God has ascended His throne amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.
(Psalm 47:5)

How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all the day, and by Your righteousness they are exalted. For You are the glory of their strength, and by Your favor our horn is exalted. For our shield belongs to the LORD, and our king to the Holy One of Israel.
(Psalm 89:15-18, 24)

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides for ever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and for evermore.
(Psalm 125:1-2)

Let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.
(Psalm 5:11-12)

Oh Lord let the word of Christ dwell richly in our hearts. Let the beauty, favor, loveliness, and delight of the LORD our God rest upon us, confirming and establishing the work of our hands for us. That the living word of Christ may be manifest among His people and accomplish His purposes. May we trust and abide in the shelter of His wings, His shield forever (Psalm 61:4).

May they sing of the ways of the LORD, for the glory of the LORD is great. The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever- do not abandon the works of your hands.
(Psalm 138:5, 8)

Rise up, O Lord!