In this week’s Word Nerd Wednesday, Elisabeth Warner shares with us what it means that God is our Kabodhi.
But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory (כְּ֝בוֹדִ֗י), the One who lifts my head high.
glory /glɔr i,/
- very great praise, honor, or distinction bestowed by common consent; renown:
- something that is a source of honor, fame, or admiration; a distinguished ornament or an object of pride:
- adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving:
כְּ֝בוֹדִ֗י (Kabodhi /kə-ḇō-w-ḏî/): glorious
Part of speech: Noun, masculine
glory as the object of honour, reverence and glorifying. In this case, the Lord is the glory of the psalmist (“my glory”).
The context of Psalm 3 is found in 2 Samuel 15:1-17:29. When David’s son Absalom attempts to take the throne, David seeks God for help. In the midst of a hopeless situation, David finds hope in God.
David Calls on Kabodhi
When David calls the Lord “my glory,” David is proclaiming the Lord as the source of his glory. God is the one who took David from shepherd to king of Israel, and elevated him to glory. David does not boast in his own strength, wisdom, riches, or honor, but in his covenant God. The experience David has with his son Absalom is comparable to Christ’s experience with Judas. According to commentaries, the third psalm may allude to Christ, as a continuation of the second psalm. As an example of the Redeemer, David shows us through this psalm the peace and security of those who are redeemed. We are under the divine protection, and we truly are safe.
David is honest with God about his feelings, but he does not stay in those feelings. He weeps over his son Absalom, but he also rejoices that he knows God in the midst of his pain. Even when he is shaped and pruned by God, David chooses to trust God while his enemies pursue him. Even though the world says that David is disgraced because his own son is trying to take the throne from him, David has a glory from God that is far above what the world can offer. Therefore, David chooses to fix his eyes on his Lord, to praise Him and to allow Him to define his identity.
Paul echoes David’s faith in God’s glory in Romans 8:18: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (NIV). According to the Septuagint, the word Paul uses for “glory” is the same word David uses for “glory” in Psalm 3. David endures such trials to become who God wants him to be: a man after His own heart.
Our Glory Comes from the Lord
We may not have children who want to dethrone us, but we are tempted on a daily basis to find glory on our own. Like David, we may face circumstances that seem to bring us shame or disappointment. On the other hand, like David, we can also trust in God in the midst of those disappointing times.
We also need to trust God in the midst of our worldly triumphs! When we’re checking boxes off our to-do lists and making progress, it’s tempting to think that we can achieve our own glory. The glory that God gives is beyond anything we can achieve in this world. He alone is our glory, and He alone can lift our weary heads and help us keep going.
As followers of Christ, we can hope that nothing we endure in this life will be wasted. No matter what we suffer, when this is all over, we will take part in the incomparable glory of Christ. At the same time, no matter what awards we win or praises we receive, the glory we receive from Christ is so much greater.
Is God Your Kabodhi?
Where have you been seeking glory lately apart from God? Whether you’re racking up accolades or sulking in disappointment of your own failures, lay down your false glory and affirm your faith in God’s glory for you.What does it mean to you that God is your Kabodhi? #wordnerdwedesday #kabodhi Click To Tweet
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary (Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible)
John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible
Matthew Henry Commentary (Complete)
Matthew Henry Commentary (Concise)
Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David
Elisabeth Warner is a lover of words in all languages. She resides in Long Island with her husband, Lenny. Elisabeth seeks to encourage young women who struggle with anxiety through her blog, and through fiction that tells of God’s faithfulness in the midst of impossible situations. Visit her website (www.elisabethwarner.com) for encouragement and fun stories!