“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4
David penned this Psalm as he did many of the Psalms. But it is necessary to note that David didn’t write this as he was sitting in a meadow playing his harp watching over his sheep who were all accounted for and in their rightful places. No David penned this Psalm when he was fleeing Saul, and being pursued and seized by Philistines in Gath. David was very afraid of what they would do to him. He was in fact the young shepherd boy who had killed their giant warrior Goliath. He was very afraid.
One thing to note here is that David says “when” I am afraid. He doesn’t say if, he doesn’t declare he will never be afraid. We talked a few weeks ago on fear and ways to conquer fear. But the one thing we know is that it will rear its head again. As I write this we are being pounded outside by tropical storm Ida. I am not afraid as I sit in my house with the rain pounding outside. I hear my wind chimes as the wind is strong. But yesterday there were people very afraid. And they had true cause to be. Yesterday Ida was a major hurricane and for those who stayed behind and for those who left they were afraid and many are probably still dealing with fear today. Some were afraid for their lives yesterday as they stayed behind and encountered the strength of nature. But they are still afraid today for the life they had that they will now have to rebuild because of loss of property. No David didn’t declare he would never be afraid, but he declared what he would do WHEN he was afraid. “I put my trust in you”!
David declared action, he declared praise to God and that he would actively trust God and that would help him to not be afraid. He recognized that while he was at the hand of the Philistines and they very well could kill him, that he belonged to God and that was where he would put his trust.
Something else to note here. As I was studying this Psalm it led me to 1 Samuel 21 which is believed to be when David penned the Psalm. In this chapter it pretty much says that David walked right into the situation he had with the Philistines. He was under some false impression that the citizens of Gath would welcome him. But when they recognized him and the servants pointed out to the king who David was, he realized they would not be as welcoming as he thought. David was fleeing Saul but when he went to Gath it was not under the direction of God. He went of his own free will and it had the potential to not turn out so well. But when David became afraid and recognized that he had not handled this rightly and he returned to God and put his trust in Him, God delivered him from the hands of the Philistines.
That’s comforting to me, you see David is considered a man after God’s own heart. But what I love about David so much is the fact that while he was a man after God’s own heart, he was far from perfect. He was a man who went off on his own decisions and made lots of mistakes. But he knew his God and when he returned, God would deliver him, God would protect him. God blessed him. This just lets me know that when I don’t get it right, I can still return to God and he will still deliver, protect and bless me. And you can to. All you have to do is trust Him.