In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3, 4 (NKJ)
There is much to fear as we look around today. The daily news is replete with things that cause us to be “fearful”. We face “tribulation and distress, persecution and famine; nakedness, peril, and sword” (Rom. 8:35); not to mention “pestilence that walk in darkness” (Ps. 91:6). How are we to respond? I offer you an alternative to fear—put your trust in God.
The background for today’s Psalm can be found in 1 Samuel 21:8-15, where we are told of David’s escape to Gath, the stronghold of the Philistines, arch enemies of Israel. The Philistines were well acquainted with David for he had championed the killing of Goliath of Gath when he was only a young shepherd boy (1 Sam. 17). Since then, he had been anointed by Samuel the prophet as the heir apparent to the throne of Israel receiving praises from the people for his many conquests (1 Sam. 18:7). However, those praises had resulted in a death wish from King Saul who now sought David’s life. Now this young man runs for fear of his life to a place of even greater peril and sure death. He now stands captured by his worst enemy, the king of the Philistines.
Psalm 56 is identified as a song for the distressed. We would agree that David was in distress. We sometimes describe it as being “between a rock and a hard place.” Like David, we sometimes find ourselves wedged between many rocks and brutal hard places. Sometimes this happens as a result of others, like Saul, and other times it is the result of our own disobedience and waywardness. In those times of distress and fear, we are to call out like David—“In God, I have put my trust.”
“I have put my trust” is translated in Hebrew, batach, which means “bold and confident”. The description means to literally “throw oneself down, extended on the ground, upon his face.” Can you imagine that picture? David, literally throwing himself on the mercy of God, fully confident and bold; defiantly proclaiming, “What can flesh do to me?” I wonder if his mind reflected back on God’s mighty hand of deliverance in his earlier battle with fear as he faced Goliath. Did he recall the many times God intervened on his behalf as King Saul sought to capture and kill him? His eye was not on the source of his fear but on the Deliverer of his soul. David’s spirit was humbled, cast down in full confidence and trust in Almighty God for his life—not the Philistine king.
As we face the many challenges of life that tend to shake the very foundation of our faith, let us “put our trust” in the one who is able to deliver us from all harm (Ps. 46:2). Remember those times that God stepped in to deliver you and brought you to a point of safety. Exchange your fear for bold confidence (Ps. 20:7). Stretch out on “mature” faith, like David, and expect miracles, signs, and wonders. Although we flippantly have inscribed on our coins, “In God we trust”, it’s now time to write upon our hearts the Psalmist’s words, “I have put my trust in God.”