Monday, October 15, 2018
Scratching the Surface of the Psalms - 27
Scratching the Surface of the Psalms
“Why We Are Not Afraid”
Rocky Marciano was heavyweight boxing champion of the world from 1952-1956.
Amazingly, he never lost (49-0).
No other boxer in history has ever hung up the gloves undefeated.
It just doesn’t happen.
We would be hard-pressed to come up with any other athlete or team that never lost.
Not even the Yankees win every World Series!
While some cheeseheads won’t admit it, even Vince Lombardi lost some big games.
All athletes and teams lose.
It’s a fact.
Winning streaks end.
History shows every civilization rises, peaks, declines, and disappears.
Previously popular television shows lose ratings and go off the air.
Polls go up then down then out.
Nobody has ever remained on top of the charts.
Everybody and everything seem to have an expiration date.
The fear of losing is real because losing is inevitable.
David understood all about that kinda fear.
Though conscious of being chosen by God to become the greatest king in the history of Israel with a life story and writings taking up a big chunk of the Bible, so many of his psalms include personal struggles with fear of mentor Saul, son Absalom, and so many of the world’s evil Goliaths who lived to take him down.
David was a marked man; looking over his shoulder for the next assassin.
Though your guess is as good as mine as to which particular set of fear-filled moments provoked Psalm 27, it was true to many periods in his life.
It is true to many periods in our lives when fear grips the gut.
Psalm 27 is David’s acknowledgment of personal fear and the only way to overcome it.
Surviving victor David explains why believers are not afraid of those dark nights of the soul when evil enemies prowl.
Believers know God guarantees being at the top of the final standings: “The Lord is my light and salvation. Why should I be afraid of anyone? With God on my side, I’m fearless.”
Believers are confident in God’s guiding, providing, and protecting: “I am confident in God’s care. When evildoers have assailed me, God has always taken care of me…When all hell breaks loose – when evil hordes ride down ready to eat me alive – I’m calm collected, and cool. God is my safe place.”
Believers know the safest place in life and eternity is at God’s side: “I want only one thing from God. I really desire only one thing. I want to be close to Him. I want to dwell in His house. Better is one day with Him than thousands elsewhere…’Oh, baby, it’s a wild world; and the only quiet, secure, and safe place is with God.’”
Intimate with God, believers thrive triumphantly amid the meanness, madness, misery, and miscreance of life in the world: “I am certain that I will see God’s goodness in time as well as eternity. That’s why I say, ‘Wait for the Lord! Stay with God! Hang on to Him! That’s the only way to the confident courage to overcome fear.’”
You may remember how President Franklin D. Roosevelt said at his inaugural address on March 4, 1933, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Thoreau wrote in his journal on September 7, 1851, “Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.”
Without God, that fear is daunting to paralyzing to defeating; evoking the kind of weak and dread-filled hysteria of Bluto’s frat brothers in Animal House, “Oh, Bluto, we’re so afraid!”
Without God, we’re afraid of the Russians, Islamofascistnutball savages, IRS, NSA, FBI, DNC, GOP, and anyone else trying to take away our freedoms.
Pero with God like David in Psalm 27, we function through the firefights, face enemies unafraid, and refuse to surrender to fear.
With God, we join the apostle John to say with confident courage, “We are from God and we conquer evil because the One who is in us is greater than the evil and its source who are in the world…There is no fear in love! God is love! God loves us! We love God! No fear!”
You’ve probably heard it this way: “I don’t know about tomorrow but I know who holds my hand!…I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future!”
I’m reminded of a little book that I like to read to children around Halloween: Let’s Shine Jesus’ Light on Halloween.
Here are some faith-filled excerpts: “On Halloween I might see black cats, pointy hats, and creepy flying bats…But God’s power is the reason I don’t have to be afraid…Halloween is jack-o-lanterns, costumes, and candy on a dark and spooky night…But Jesus is the light of the world.”
It ends with his prayer: “Dear God, Even though Halloween is a lot of fun, sometimes it can be a little scary, too. I’m glad that Jesus is the light of the world. Thank you for always watching over me so I don’t have to be afraid. Amen.”
David sang, “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Why should I be afraid of anyone? With God on my side, I’m fearless.”
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
That’s why we’re not afraid of the dark.
God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is our guiding, providing, and protecting light.
Blessings and Love!
Shatter the sound of silence!
Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!