Finding Jesus in the Psalms (Part I)
Every night when I put our daughter, Halle, to bed she asked me to pray for her not be scared of the Tickle Monster (VeggieTales) because we have a big God. And so every night, we thank God for the day He gave us, we pray for the salvation of Halle and Malachi and many others we know, we pray for our church, and we close by praying that God would remind her that she does not need to fear because we serve a big God.
As I read through the Psalms it strikes me how many of them begin with cries of desperation and cries of fear. “O Lord how many are my foes!” (Psalm 3:1) “Save me from all of my pursuers and deliver me, lest like a lion they tear my soul apart” (Psalm 7:1b-2a) “How long shall my enemy be exalted over me” (Psalm 13:2b) are just a few of these cries in the Psalms we will read in January.
It is quite easy in today’s world to give way to fear. The thought of being unloved by others causes us to fear. Losing our jobs causes us to fear. Health reports cause us to fear. Death causes us to fear. Not having the right words to share our faith causes us to fear. Consequences of our sin causes us to fear. And I could go on and on, but you get the point: The Enemy wants us to live in fear.
Yet, the good news of the gospel is that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection conquered the work of the Enemy. Hebrews 2:14 says that Jesus’ death destroyed “the one who has the power of death, that is, the Devil.” Colossians 1:13 says that he “delivered us out of the power of darkness.” Finally, in Romans 8 we are reminded that since God did not spare His only Son, Jesus, that nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. In short, we do not have to fear because Jesus has come.
As we read the Psalms we will likewise see these individuals overcoming their fear by placing their trust and confidence in the Lord. Psalm 7:1a says, “O LORD my God, in you do I take refuge.” Psalm 18:2-3 says, “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD…and I am saved from my enemies.” Finally, the whole 23rd Psalm testifies to the goodness we experience as we trust in the Lord as our shepherd, even when in the presence of our enemies.
I admit that I often find it silly to pray each night for God to protect Halle from the Tickle Monster, that she is so terrified of something that is nothing to be scared of. Yet, lately God has been gently reminding me that all of my daily fears (rejection, provision, failure, etc.) are nothing to be scared of either, because of the great God that we serve.
Church, as we start in on the book of Psalms this month, my prayer is that God would remind us all that because of the work of Jesus on the cross, we have nothing to fear. In the end, we serve a big God!
In Christ’s Love,