Psalm 27:1-3 – “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.”
Fear can become a paralyzing emotion and, if we are not careful, its tentacles can enslave us. Not all fear is negative; for instance, there are some things that warrant a good healthy dose of fear. It is good to fear and revere authority if that authority guards us against the consequences of foolish and unlawful choices. We are wise to fear the dangers of a fiery blaze, the deadly potential of a lightning strike, the fast approach of a train at a railroad crossing, and the penalty of failing to study for an exam.
It is the dominant aspect of negative, enslaving fear that is devastating to the soul. Some fear failure and are paralyzed by fears that enslave and render them incapable of making wise decisions. Fear of people, perhaps the most dominant fear, drives some to withdraw into a cocoon of ambivalence. Fear criticism, and you may vainly seek to be insulated from critics by self-imposed isolation. Fear rejection and you are tempted to retreat from friendship and relationships. Fear verbal attacks that assail your motives and assault your character, and you will be tempted to quit!
Because we all live with fears, it is wise for us to consider: How can we overcome fear? Is there any hope of getting the victory over one’s fear of enemies, criticism, rejection, failure and attacks on our testimony and character?
Let’s take a spiritual lesson out of David’s spiritual playbook (Psalm 27:1-3).
Psalm 27:1 – “The LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God] is my light [brightness] and my salvation [Deliverer]; whom shall I fear [be afraid; revere]? the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God] is the strength [fortress; hold; rock; protection; refuge] of my life; of whom shall I be afraid [fear; tremble]?”
We note in verse 1 three assertions of David’s courage and faith. The first, “The Lord is my Light”; David’s confidence was not in himself or in human thought or philosophy; his courage arose from his conviction that the LORD Who is Jehovah, Eternal God, was the source of light to his soul (John 1:4-5, 9; 1 John 1:5). David’s second assertion was, “The LORD…is my Salvation”; his Deliverer; not only his guiding light, but also the One Who is able to save his soul from the curse of sin.
Having asserted his faith that the LORD is his light and salvation, David asks us to ponder, “Whom shall I fear?” Is anyone too big for God? Is anyone stronger than the LORD? Is any circumstance greater than the LORD?
David’s third assertion is, “The LORD is the Strength of my life”; his Rock, Fortress and Refuge! Why be afraid of mortal men? If the Lord is your Protector, why scurry from a foe like a rat retreating from a predator?
Having stated the LORD is the object of his faith, David reflected on God’s providences and protection in the past (27:2).
Psalm 27:2 – “When the wicked [evil], even mine enemies [adversary] and my foes [hostile], came [approached; drew near] upon me to eat up [devour; consume; feed] my flesh [body], they stumbled [became weak; overthrown; staggered] and fell.”
David had experienced the threats of adversaries who relished in smearing his character and exulted in his sorrows. He had known friends and family who cannibalized his very soul with malicious attacks and disparaging lies. Of those wicked enemies David testified, “they stumbled and fell” (27:2b).
Having taken courage by stating his faith in the LORD and remembering God’s faithfulness in the past, David was embolden and affirmed he would not be overcome with fear.
Psalm 27:3 – “Though an host [camp; great company] should encamp [pitch; lay siege] against me, my heart [mind; understanding] shall not fear [tremble; be afraid]: though war [battle; warfare; combat] should rise against me, in this will I be confident [trust; secure].”
Take heart friend and follow David’s example! If the LORD is your Light, Salvation, and Refuge; if He has proven faithful in the midst of trials that are past; set aside your fears and affirm with David: I will not allow fear to overcome me; I will not allow the threat of the unknown rob me of my faith and confidence in the LORD.
If the LORD is your God, no foe or trial should keep you from embracing this thought: “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith