Of Whom Shall I Be Afraid? Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
David wrote this psalm, while on the run from his son, Absalom, to express his joy over God’s salvation.
But in the midst of his joy, David’s heart still desires one thing “… that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life.” He wants to be hid in the refuge of God Himself. He desires for God to wrap His arms around him and set him upon a rock. David wrote this psalm, however, because he was not a priest, he could not actually go into the tabernacle, but he could still rest in the Lord and trust Him as his refuge. David is a good example of a person whose—Faith is strengthened through prayer (vv. 7-12).
After Jesus told Caiaphas that He would set at the right hand of God, the High Priest exploded with charges of blasphemy. “What do you think?” he demanded of his onlookers. “He is deserving of death,” was their reply. Here I can picture the Savior praying silently:
Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You,
“Your face, LORD, I will seek.”
By this time, the disciples had all forsaken Him and fled. But God had helped Him in the past, and now He pleads that God would not forsake Him at this crucial moment either.
Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
We must go beyond just seeking God’s help. We should seek His face. The smile of God is all you need to overcome the scowls of men.
At Christ’s trial, the chief priests and the whole council had solicited false testimony against Jesus in a determined effort to put Him to death. But they couldn’t seem to concoct anything damaging until two witnesses appeared with the accusation, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days’” (Matt. 26:59–61). What Jesus had actually said (referring to the temple of His body) was, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19, 21). But since the whole trial was a sham anyway, the false testimony was accepted. Now we can hear the Savior praying:
Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
David now continues his prayer by asking that the Lord make his way to be a level one, a path across a flat or smooth country. In other words, He is asking for things to be easier for Him. The reason for him asking is that false witnesses are testifying against him. These false witnesses had told lies against Jesus, who was an honorable man. And there’s one who hates you, and he is telling God lies about you.
Satan wants to trap you, but the Lord will show you the safe way. Believe His promises and walk by faith.
His goodness will be with you.
I began the devotion with the view that faith is the key to conquering fear. I want to finish the devotion with another truth. God, who is good, is on your side. So if you are afraid, that’s the time to exercise your faith. Trust in Him, pray continually and, “wait on the Lord…and He shall strengthen your heart…” (V.14).
Jesus never lost heart, even when He could hear the frenzied mob outside Pilate’s judgment hall screaming, “Let Him be crucified.” The blessed Lord Jesus heard the shouts, and He knew what they meant. Yet He could have truly said at this very time:
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
God shows you the way. Satan wants to trap you, but the Lord will show you the safe way. Believe His promise and walk by faith, and His goodness will be with you. Verse 14 is the last verse of the Psalm? Well, I like to think that this verse is His parting word to each of us—a little personal advice from heaven based on the Lord’s own experiences in trusting His Father.
Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!
God strengthens you, because He knows that we need strength for the battle and strength for the journey.
Be sure to take time to wait on the Lord. If you run ahead of Him or lag behind, you will be a perfect target for the enemy. If you tarry for the Lord, the Lord will show you His goodness. In the meantime, be of good courage.
David has now convinced himself that the Lord God would strengthen his heart when trouble comes, if he would only wait. I say that this psalm has given us good advice, which we cannot fail to heed.