“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1). David begins Psalm 27 with these words, yet the honest truth is that there are many things around us that make us afraid.
Where we live and serve, these things include not only the coronavirus, which has affected all of us, but also a powerful military aggressor. We are almost surrounded by an army that is more powerful than we are and may well have an intention to do our people harm.
How do we respond to this situation? David faced exactly this scenario too, saying in verse 3, “an army encamp against me”. Yet despite that crisis situation, he continued, “my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident” (Psalm 27:3).
It is hard not to be afraid when things like these have all happened in the last week:
- Massive troop and weapons buildups have continued on our border, just a few miles away;
- Loud city air raid sirens have been tested for the first time we can remember;
- The authorities posted maps of all the bomb shelters in the capital;
- Army helicopters fly overhead daily;
- Stop and search powers for the military are now extended to include all people and all vehicles;
- Dozens of hired thugs were detained at the city limits near us, sent by hostile forces to create riots and violence, as a false reason to invade to “protect” us.
One more powerful
“Whom shall I fear?” – do these words mean that it is foolish to fear a threatening superpower neighbour who is so close to us and sabrerattling? No, I don’t think so. On a human level, we all fear such threats and actions from leaders who lead for their own gain and power.
But rather, we can say with David that we fear One who is greater than all. Verse 5 says, “he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble”. The One who is in the sanctuary of heaven is more powerful than all and is able to save and shelter our souls whatever the circumstances. That is an amazing message of hope to fearful people.
Consider this: many people have been saved here since the war began, who would not have been saved were it not for the events of the war! This includes soldiers who have been witnessed to in the trenches. It includes refugees who have fled the conflict zone and have been taken in by Christians. It includes pensioners left in no-man’s land who have been cared for by brave, sacrificial believers who have taken them aid and the hope of the gospel.
Fearing God not man
War is not our final enemy – not any longer! The Saviour we preach has conquered death; has risen from the grave! This is what a nation at war, facing so many fears, needs to hear. Not that our military will save us, or our political leaders. Not even that God will always prevent us from facing conflict. But that in all and through all he can save us from sin and death, giving us eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Please pray for our weak and vulnerable people here in the midst of such uncertain and fearful times! Not just that further conflict will be prevented and lives spared. But rather, that people who are currently afraid only of men will come to fear and worship God, who is greater than all.