When I am afraid
From his morning study time, David Niednagel, Pastor and Teacher, Evansville, IN. David uses the S.O.A.P method for his morning study time (study, observe, apply, pray).
Psalm 56 A Miktam of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.
1 Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;
all day long an attacker oppresses me;
2 my enemies trample on me all day long, …
3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?
5 All day long they injure my cause;
all their thoughts are against me for evil. …
8 You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book? …
9 This I know, that God is for me.
10 In God, whose word I praise,
in the Lord, whose word I praise,
11 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
12 I must perform my vows to you, O God;
I will render thank offerings to you.
13 For you have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling, … ESV
In 1Sam 21:10 David was fleeing from Saul, and went to Gath, the hometown of Goliath, the Philistine giant whom he had killed. He was obviously recognized as the most hated man, and pretended to be insane to avoid being killed. Talk about “out of the frying pan and into the fire” – David was in a BAD situation! So what did he do?
He poured out his situation and his feelings to the Lord – even putting them into this metrical form. It may not have been in final form, but he learned to put every situation into a song form, so he would remember it and so others could sing it too. I don’t know if he realized he was inspired or writing scripture, but he knew he was pouring out his heart to God and listening to God at the same time.
Here, his main message was “When I am afraid, I consciously put my trust in You!” He knew God was for him. He had been anointed to be king, so he knew God had a purpose for his life. In :10-12 he made four vows: He would praise God now in the time of danger, He would trust God, He would not be afraid, and He would later praise God in the public worship.
Lord, I’m so thankful I have never had the persecution and danger that David did, but there are many times I have been anxious about things I could not control – and there will be more in the days ahead. Help me remember to do those same four things David did –1) praise you in the midst of it, 2) consciously put my trust in you, 3) give my fears to You because even though I am not anointed to be a king, I am bought by the blood of Jesus and appointed to re-present You in my world, and 4) give public praise to You for Your faithfulness. Use me to help others learn that when we cannot control the circumstances, we need not be controlled by fear, but we can trust You! Amen