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DAVID’S ANTIDOTES FOR FEAR
by Philip Owen

            There is much fear abroad today, a sense of impending doom.  We see moral decay on every hand; economic collapse appears imminent; freedoms and traditional rights are being crushed; terrorism seems to abound unchecked—and that’s just a partial list of our troubles.   These are new experiences for many citizens of the United States who have been accustomed to the security and blessings that a God-conscious society have afforded.  But they are certainly not new to human history.  In fact, one as great as King David described the circumstances of his day in even more dire terms: “Terror is on every side,” he wrote (Psa. 31:13).  Note, however, that although “terror” was all around him (or at least cause for terror), it was not in him.  “But as for me. . .” David continued and followed that with three antidotes to fear that remain available to us more than three millennia later.

            1. “I trust in You, O Lord” (v. 14a).  Here is the supreme anchor, the ultimate foundation.  The soul that is anchored in the Lord can rest in the midst of the most devastating storm.  Which is greater—the storm, or the God Who commanded its existence in the first place and Who can banish it in a moment with His “Peace, be still!”?  Fear cannot survive the assurance that God the Omnipotent governs all things from the monumental motions of the universe to the minute movements of the atom. Everything is under the control of the God who does all things well.

            2. “I say, ‘You are my God’” (v. 14b).  Additionally, the source of David’s rest did not reside solely in His trust in an omnipotent God.  His confidence was founded on the fact that God is not only powerful but also personal.  David trusted in a God Who not only knew him but also loved him.  His God was not far off; he had walked and talked with his God.  He had cried and God had answered.  He had believed the words that God had spoken to him and had discovered through personal experience that they were true.  This God had demonstrated that He was David’s Shepherd, had proved that He was his Strong Tower, had shown that He was David’s Shield, had exhibited that He was David’s Rock.  David might well have authored the hymn “I Am His, and He Is Mine.”

            3. “My times are in your hand” (v. 15a).  But David offers a third antidote as well.  Elsewhere he had avowed that “My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance, And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them” (Psa. 139:15, 16).  The Lord David trusted, his God, had both made him and determined his end.  Nothing and no one could foreshorten David’s days or uproot God’s purpose for him.

            Those who know the Lord today have the same God and the same assurance.  He is faithful and unfailing.  We may safely rest in Him.

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