I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4 NIV)
You and I live in a world filled with fear. The global pandemic named COVID-19 has heightened the fear level in many. Stock market fluctuations strike fear in many hearts about their future well-being. Media reports feed on fear keeping people on edge. Some reading this are struggling under the grip of fear right now. Fear, if not surrendered to God, causes people to act in strange ways. Listen to the story behind the poetry of Psalm 34.
Psalm 34 is a faith-filled and worshipful call to trust God over fear. David wrote these words while running in fear for his life. When arriving at Gath, David becomes fearful of Achish, the king of Gath (1 Samuel 21:12). So fearful of this king that he pretends to be insane – drooling and scratching on doors (1 Samuel 21:13). That charade gets him out of trouble but only leads to another problem. He ends up in the cave of Adullam where he becomes the commander of 400 distressed, discontented, and indebted men living in that same cave because of fear (1 Samuel 22:1).
But in that cave, living in fear, and trying to lead others living in fear that David lifts his voice to God. In that cry of praise to God, you and I can learn how to handle fear.
Extol the Lord (Psalm 34:1-3)
David begins this Psalm by praising and lifting the name of the Lord. Fear begins to flee when you and I take our eyes off it and begin to focus on God. Our perspective on the situation changes when we turn our eyes onto the omnipotent and sovereign Almighty God. In the cave of fear, surrounded by 400 fearful men, David reminds us that making God our chief focus frees our hearts to see God – the one who loves us with unending love.
Seek the Lord (Psalm 34:4)
Focusing on the magnificence of God Almighty gives us the confidence to seek Him. In this case, David takes all his fears and surrenders them to God. The Apostle Peter reminds us of this same truth when he writes,
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT).
Trust the Lord’s Power (Psalm 34:5-22)
Beginning at Psalm 34:4 one can sense human fear leaving David and the strength of God renewing him. He begins to understand that those who “fear” the Lord — not man — will shine, lack nothing, know the deliverance of God, and have the confidence to say,
“The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers them from them all” (Psalm 34:19 NIV).
Prayer for Those Struggling with Fear
Almighty God, we give you praise because You are good and You hear our fearful cries. We cast our cares and worries and fears on you because we know you care for us. We trust in your power and pray the Comforter’s presence would surround our hearts right now. We pray this in the Name above all names, Jesus, who conquered death, hell, and the grave.
Copyright © 2020 Danny Davis, used with permission.