Day 187: The only thing to fear is God Himself (Psalm 21-30)

Posted: October 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

Psalms has been such an encouraging read these last few days. David bares his soul to God, in despair, in defeat, in victory, in joy, in everything, David turns to God and praises Him! There were two really great passages I wanted to relay to you tonight. It really is hard to choose what I want to write about, because there really is so much, and I feel like I’m missing something, but for the sake of time, here’s my picks, a couple of great passages that have to deal with the topic of fear in the face of great trials.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. – Psalm 23

The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me, to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. – Psalm 27:1-3

Psalm 23 is perhaps one of the most quoted pieces of Scripture in the entire Bible. Even non-believers use this passage to attempt to comfort themselves after something catastrophic has happened, like a death or other serious family situation. I’ve heard people recite it, almost word for word, even to themselves, in order to comfort themselves or others. It’s a great passage, and although I hear it a lot, it doesn’t make it any less powerful. The description of God of a shepherd is quite comforting, the picture of a beautiful, green pasture, with a kind shepherd gently guiding his sheep to the next field – it is serene! The wolves of sin and may lurk in the woods surrounding the field, but the shepherd is prepared, ready with his rod and staff to protect me. What good is there to fear the evil in the woods if I am perfectly safe with my Shepherd?

It may not be equally apparent every moment of our lives, we may not be looking especially hard for God some days, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t there. In times of difficulty, trial and tribulation, He has His staff and rod out, ready to help us defend ourselves if we call out to Him.

I forget if I have told this story already or not, but if I have, I guess I’m going to tell it anyway. It’s a story of God’s protection and awesome love for me and my family, even though I wasn’t living for the LORD all that well. I forget exactly which year it was, but I know I was just a kid. I was saved in third grade, so I believe it was after that. I was a pretty new Christian, and I knew I wasn’t living the life, but I can say that 15-20 years later. Anyway, my parents were driving me and my brother home, I believe from my grandmother’s house, when out of the blue, on Route 44 near the intersection of Route 195 near the old Kathy John’s, my dad decides it’s a good idea to pull over in a nearby parking lot and request that my mother take the wheel for the remainder of the journey home.

OK, keep in mind two things. One, my father had never done that before, and to this day, he has not done that again. And two, we were only 20 minutes from home. Something was up.

Sure enough, not even a minute from pulling over in that parking lot, the intersection goes completely dark. Streetlights, traffic lights, businesses, everything. Completely dark. It was eery. Not knowing what to expect, my mother got into the driver’s seat and re-started the journey home, and sure enough, not even a minute up the road, a horrific car accident had just happened, leaving a car split in half. The timing was too close. If my father had not pulled over, there was a chance we may have been involved in that accident. Obviously, it’s tought o play the “What If?” game, but to this day, I truly believe God was at work in that situation, nudging our family (and maybe even my dad’s sleep cycle) with his shepherd’s rod, guiding us to safety from the wolf on the prowl that night, protecting us from certain harm and giving us a chance to live another day. The circumstances were too perfect for me to belive otherwise. God protected the Minor family that night. I’m sure there have been many more instances that I don’t even remember that He did the same thing, but that night sticks out to me. Even as a kid I remember thinking that God saved our lives, and something clicked inside me. It was an awesome reminder for me that God is in control. Even today, more than 15 years later, I look back on that night, remembering certain details, the violence of the car crash scene, and thinking, “That could have been me.” God had other plans for me!

The second passage almost seems cocky on first reading. I know it’s not, but I picture standing David on the front lines of his army, proudly boasting, “Whom shall I fear?”

The funny thing is, he is completely and unequivocably right! If God is for us, who (and even what) can be against us? God is more powerful than anything that can even possibly stand against us, so why are we afraid? The evil things of the world may wear scary masks, but God reveals them for what they truly are, absolutely nothing compared to His holiness. We truly have nothing to fear with God on our side, and David is reminding us that we should be confident in the LORD, emboldened by His promise and encouraged by His power to lead a life worth being called a child of God! If God is with us, who can be against us? No one, that’s who! We have nothing to fear but God Himself! Amen!

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