The Psalms with Aneel Aranha

Psalm 56

May 18, 2023 Aneel Aranha Season 3 Episode 56
The Psalms with Aneel Aranha
Psalm 56
Show Notes Transcript

We all feel afraid when powerful enemies or life's challenges threaten us. How do we deal with our fear? As always, we can learn a few things from David.

Psalm 056 - Conquering Fear - Aneel Aranha  

Be merciful to me, my God,
for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
all day long they press their attack.
My adversaries pursue me all day long;
in their pride many are attacking me.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
All day long they twist my words;
all their schemes are for my ruin.
They conspire, they lurk,
they watch my steps,
hoping to take my life.
Because of their wickedness do not let them escape;
in your anger, God, bring the nations down.
Record my misery;
list my tears on your scroll —
are they not in your record?
Then my enemies will turn back
when I call for help.
By this I will know that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
in the LORD, whose word I praise—
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can man do to me?
I am under vows to you, my God;
I will present my thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered me from death
and my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before God
in the light of life.

The Philistines once captured David in Gath. David wrote this psalm during that time, expressing his deep fear and anguish at the threats of his enemies. Yet, amid his distress, David puts his trust in God and declares his confidence in his unfailing love and faithfulness.

As always, we can learn from David's actions. What does David do? One, he acknowledges his fear. We often put on a brave front, trying to act like we aren’t afraid, but David doesn't bother. He does not deny or suppress his emotions but brings them before God. We can also be honest with God about our fears and vulnerabilities, knowing he understands. Besides, he knows we are afraid, anyway!

Two, David trusts in God's protection. Despite the threats and challenges, David trusts God as his refuge and protector. He affirms God's faithfulness and asserts that he will not be shaken by fear because he knows God is on his side. God is on our side too. And, as Paul asks, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31).

Three, David prays for deliverance. Throughout the psalm, David cries out to God for deliverance and asks him to be merciful and attentive to his distress. We, too, should bring our needs and concerns before God in prayer. We can seek his intervention, knowing he is actively involved in our lives. Jesus once said, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care" (Matthew 10:29). The implication is that if God cares about the sparrows, how much more does he care about us.

Four, David chooses faith over fear. David declares, "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you" (v.3). This challenges us to examine our own responses to fear and opposition. Will we allow fear to paralyze us, or will we trust God's sovereignty and faithfulness?

Finally, David praises God in advance. This is a true sign of faith. It is easy to praise God after victory has been won, as the Israelites did after they crossed the Red Sea. It would have been remarkable if they had praised God when they were trapped between the Red Sea on one side and Pharoah's army on the other. But they panicked as we do. David, however, praises God before he has attained victory. We should do the same, knowing God will see us through.

God bless you.