Psalm 27:1, 4-9
Fear is an internal warning mechanism signaling danger nearby. It readies our bodies to flee, hide or fight. The intensity of our fear is in direct proportion to the immediacy of the danger. If fear not mastered, fear will master us.
The emotional prayer of Psalm 27 was written when David was on the verge of being attacked by a fierce, overpowering enemy. David had good cause to fear, but he also had solutions to tame the beast of fear—lessons that we need to learn as well.
Walk in the light of God’s presence.
The word light indicates deliverance from darkness, which is the biblical symbol of evil. Often the word, when used of God, refers to the essence of life itself. David had God’s presence walking with him. Later, David asked for one thing. Parenthetically, if you were given the privilege to ask God for one thing, what would it be?
He wrote, “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life” (Ps. 27:4). “The house of the Lord” is a metaphor for the presence of the Lord. David did not ask for victory, greater weapons, for God to destroy his enemies or for peace and prosperity. No, confronted with a dire emergency, David asked to be near God. David believed his security depended on his nearness to God.
Trust in the salvation of God’s deliverance.
When David referred to the Lord as his salvation, he meant his Deliverer or Rescuer. David probably had the literal deliverance from the oppressing enemy in mind, but he may have been pointing to the greater deliverance of salvation, too.
Many fears concern themselves with errors and mistakes we have made in the past and the corresponding guilt and fear of discovery. For all of our sins, mistakes, bad judgments—when confessed—God comes to the chalkboard of our lives and erases them all.
Brownlow North, an evangelist at the turn of the 20th century, lived a horrible past. He was dramatically converted and began preaching. One night before a service, someone slipped him a note. The anonymous author promised to expose Brownlow North’s sins if he persisted in preaching. After the music, North came to the pulpit with note in hand. He read it to the congregation and said everything in it was true. He had lived an immoral and godless life, but then Christ forgave him of his sins and set him free.
Brownlow North was sorry for his past, but he no longer feared his past. He was trusting in Christ to take away his sin.
Rest in the strength of God’s protection.
David also saw God as his stronghold, his fortified place of defense or refuge, a place of safety from danger.
If you were to go through a hurricane in a mobile home, you would be fearful because your refuge is weak, your stronghold is uncertain. If you were to go through a hurricane in a concrete and steel-reinforced Emergency Operations Center, a refuge of strength, you would be confident and at peace.
That’s the kind of refuge David found in God. David wrote, “For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock” (Ps. 27:5). David knew he was safe in the arms of God.
Many fears concern themselves with the immediate need for protection and comfort. In other words, some of our fears have to do with the present. When feeling rejected, inferior and like a failure, the place of refuge and protection is found in the strong and loving arms of our heavenly Father.
God has given us the light of His presence to guide us, the salvation of His deliverance to rescue us, and His strength to protect us; therefore, we don’t have to fear.