Psalm 118:6-7 “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.”
I have never been in a war. I have never really felt my life was threatened by others. I’m fortunate in that way. It’s clear that the author of Psalm 118 had personal experience with the fears of wartime. He was “hard pressed” v5, “surrounded on every side” v11, and “pushed back and about to fall” v13. He had “enemies” v7 and “nations” v10 that “swarmed” v 12 around him. And as his life hung in the balance, he reached out to the only one that could save him. “The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” v14.
As I said, I’ve never been in battle but there are times that I have felt that my future hung in the balance. Like when I had been wrongly accused and was being investigated by the police. Court hearings, polygraph tests, interviews and testimony. Time and time again. All the while wondering if anyone would believe me. I felt the fear and the very real possibility of being put in jail for something I didn’t do. I had to hold onto the only one that would never leave me, the rock that never moves. He was my strength and my defense, my salvation. I remember holding onto His precious promises like 1Peter 5:7 “Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” and Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
Then there was the weekend that I staffed a Marked Men For Christ retreat in California just as the Covid pandemic started sweeping across the world. Airports were closing, borders were closing, would I be stranded away from home? Would someone on the weekend come down with Covid? Would I? Fear was very real and tangible to me. But God was ever present and even more real than the fear I felt. His promises once again steadying my steps, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3.
Have you every felt threatened? Have you ever felt like your way of life was about to be taken away from you? Has fear ever stared you in the face like that? We have a God who knows what you are feeling. He sees all and knows all. He is greater than any enemy you are facing. His hand is stretched out, reaching for you, ready to grab hold as soon as you cry out for help.
- “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.” Psalm 118:17
- “I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.” Psalm 118:21
- “the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Psalm 118:23
- “LORD, save us! LORD, grant us success!” Psalm 118:25
- “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 118:29