‘In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? ‘ Psalm 56:4 https://www.bible.com/bible/111/PSA.56.4
As part of my quiet time and prayer meditation in the mornings, I am most successful when I choose to open my Bible before anything else. I know this seems like common sense but we seem to either forget or get wrapped up in everything else as we prepare for the day (see my previous 4-5 posts and large gaps in between posts, if I’m being honest).
Psalm 56:4 came up in my Bible app as the “verse of the day” and it was actually just what I needed this morning. In a time of uncertainty, which has always been….the devil has just honed his skills in dishing it out to us in just the right amount to drive us to fear. If I’m being honest, I woke up this morning with several fears, first with the simple (“what time is it, did I oversleep??”) to the familiar (“what’s going on in the news/world today, are we at war, what calamity occurred now??”) to the overwhelming (“are my kids ok, let me run from room to room and check!”). I don’t think these “fears” will every subside but I can learn to not let these thoughts have the impact they have where they overwhelm my thoughts, increase my blood pressure and, ultimately, make me feel helpless (wherein the devil wins because my faith has dwindled). Instead, this verse is a great reminder that our faith can conquer fear. We know this, we have read this a thousand times and…we know this. I can’t justify our fears, not even my own, when I consider the accountability we should have with these verses.
The main thing I wanted to consider with this verse is, the assurance I find when I consider when it was written, the circumstances and the chronology it fits in within the Bible.
We live in such a “wonderful time” with information at our fingertips. God bless those that focus on that information being wholly focused on the Bible and not the other detractors that take our time and attention away. I was curious as to the story behind the verse since it was prefaced as, “For the director of music. To the tune of “A Dove on Distant Oaks.” Of David. A miktam.Title: Probably a literary or musical term When the Philistines had seized him in Gath” in my Bible. With a few clicks, I was able to discover that David likely penned this verse while in captivity in Gath, which, (from my very limited knowledge) was not as a prisoner, but as a temporary location to get away from Saul and take up with the Philistines (later) to fight against the Israelites.
This is while David was living in a town named Ziklag where he was sent to from Gath. From what I can tell, fear of man crept in with the Philistines and, not only did Saul fear the Philistines when he heard David was on their side but, the royalty/leadership feared David would betray them as well and David was sent back to Gath. Long story very short, Ziklag was conquered by the Amelakites and David was protected by God once again.
While we are able to read these verses thousands of years later in a nice chronological form, this story was being lived out in real time by David, thus displaying his faith had to be ironclad in order for his own safety but, also to be understood by everyone who would hear or read these words he penned in the Psalms. This may seem obvious but, when you consider we live in such a time where we have the entire Bible laid out before us, we read story after story of God’s protection and promises, even to the point of Jesus’s birth, death and ascension and we still struggle with belief, surrender and faith.
This is why “fear not” is so prevalent throughout the book. Why there are so many examples of God’s promises coming true. It is an overwhelming commandment that we are given to praise and trust! Praise and trust! When we do this, there is nothing left to fear! Nothing else can have a foothold on our mindset, fear will have nowhere to go, it is an amazing feeling to meditate on David’s writings and other examples of faith overcoming fear, please give it a try!
I’ll finish with this quote I stumbled upon as part of a commentary on this verse, it is simple, yet encompasses our life from birth to realization: “Faith groweth valiant in fight; albeit it began like a coward, and staggered in the first conflict, yet it groweth stout, incontinent, and pulls its adversaries under foot: In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” – David Dickson