Fear and faith are forever foes; they cannot coexist. God’s children are to live by faith, directed by God. Many, however, are living in fear, driven by dread. David was at one of the most critical junctures of his young life. King Saul was hot on his heels. David panicked and behaved in a manner unworthy of a child of God. Rather than trusting the Lord, he sought refuge in the world. He went to a pagan king for help. When the Philistines recognized it was their old nemesis David, they began to threaten David. The Bible tells us David acted like a lunatic, drooling and scratching at the door like a dog—so they drove him away with scorn. The young soldier learned a hard lesson. His deliverance was not found in adopting worldly wisdom, but in hearing and heeding God.
We do this BY WHAT WE SPEAK. We are to speak words of PRAISE (v.1-3; 11-13). Words are powerful—to help or to hurt. It seems a strange time to be praising God. If David allowed his mood and circumstances to dictate his speech, his mouth would be filled with negativism. He had just made a fool of himself; peril hunted him like hounds tracking their prey. Despite this, he chose by an act of the will, to bless the Lord. In so doing, he would build the faith of those around him. His men needed confidence—underpinned or undermined by what he said. Everyday, by what we say we are fortifying faith or fueling fear. The old need to teach the young the power of the tongue to help bring unleash the vitality of faith or the venom of fear by what we say.
Freedom from fear comes BY WHAT WE SEEK. We are to seek the proper PRIORITY (v.4-10; 14). Are we worried about our family? Are we concerned about the economy? Are we fearful of all the evil things that haunt our future? Jesus addressed that. He said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt.6:33) David made seeking God his priority. If we fear God, we need fear nothing else. David’s face was transformed from a shameful expression of irrational fear to a radiant one reflecting the glory of God. It radiates from the countenance of one who has spent time with the Lord. If we will but get a taste of whom God truly is, our senses will be overwhelmed so that we would never return back to eating the hog slop of the world. We need to loathe that which God despises and love that which God delights in.
Then, we are delivered from fear BY WHAT WE SECURE. We will secure PRESERVATION (v.15-22). There is the God who remembers us (v.15-16). Quite a contrast isn’t it—those that God’s face is set against and His holy fire burns to nothing, and those God remembers—His eyes and ears open to them? There is also the God who rescues us (v.17-18). Maybe, like David, we have failed God—but you can have a broken heart of repentance and experience His rescue. There is the God who redeems us (v.19-22). We are not exempt from trouble, but can endure the trouble. Verse 20 promises preservation and resurrection. This quote is messianic (see John 19:33-36). If the last enemy—old Death—has been overcome (and he has in Christ’s work on that bloody cross and empty tomb), then what have I to dread, what have I to fear—I’m leaning on the everlasting arms!
Dennis Thurman has pastored churches in Western North Carolina for 36 years. Currently, he is Senior Pastor of Pole Creek Baptist Church where he has served for almost 20 years. Married to Marilyn for 40 years, they have 5 children and 11 grandchildren.
This article was originally posted on Dennis’ blog, Mountain Top Musings
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