This week Pastor Chris continued our Life of David series with a message entitled, Facing Fear, Finding the Lord. Chris shared with us the story of David on the run from Saul. David’s response like most people was to act in fear. Jesus has a better word and, we know that David knew this by writing Psalm 34 in response to this trying time.
- Fear is Reactionary
1 Samuel 21:1–6 (ESV)
1 Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” 2 And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” 4 And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” 6 So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.
What causes us to be afraid?
- We fear when we lose the awareness of God’s work in our lives.
Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)
10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Romans 8:31 (ESV)
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
2. Fear is a Deceiver
1 Samuel 21:7–9 (ESV)
7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord. His name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s herdsmen. 8 Then David said to Ahimelech, “Then have you not here a spear or a sword at hand? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.” 9 And the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the Valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it, for there is none but that here.” And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me.”
Fear Creates a False Reality
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Fear Motivates Foolish Decisions
1 Samuel 21:10–13 (ESV)
10 And David rose and fled that day from Saul and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances, ‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?” 12 And David took these words to heart and was much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard.
Proverbs 29:25 (The Message)
25 The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.
Fear God, Not Man
Psalm 34:1–3 (ESV)
1 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!
Psalm 34:4–6 (ESV)
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.
Psalm 34:7–10 (ESV)
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! 10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Psalm 34:21–22 (ESV)
21 Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. 22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
1.) Can you remember a time where you reacted in fear? What was the outcome?
2.) What is your default response to fear? What steps are you taking to respond in the opposite spirit (See the app under the CC tab//Resources//Opposite Spirit)?
3.) What promises, scriptures, or prophetic words do you hold onto in times of fear? What has happened for you to personalize Psalm 34?
1.) If you are navigating fear, take a moment this week to reach out to a friend or mentor that you can share your fear(s) with and ask for prayer.
2.) Make a list of times or stories that you can say that the Lord is good. Personalize it for yourself and share 1-2 stories with a friend or life group member.
3.) Pray Psalm 34 this week.