The LORD who destroys fear and dread

Psalm 27:1-3 (NASB)

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

The LORD is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?

When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,

My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.

Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear.

Though war arise against me, in spite of this I will be confident.

The opening verse of this psalm sounds a lot like the great crescendo of Paul’s ending to Romans 8: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (8:31) Here the psalmist has an implied question that asks, “If the LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” O, we should be encouraged by this psalm because of the truth it conveys.

The first truth is that the LORD is, in fact, the believer’s light and salvation. The LORD of the universe is the One who has personally arranged all of eternity and all of the circumstances of history to make sure that He has redeemed you. He chose you in Christ for salvation before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) and then He carried out your salvation in time and space by bringing the gospel into your ears and having the Holy Spirit breathe life into your dead soul so that you believed and embraced the Savior. He carried you until the moment that you believed and He has also carried and protected you since the moment that you believed. He planned all the events that culminated in your salvation, but He has also planned and ordained all the events that will take place from now on through your sanctification until the moment of your glorification. Each event and every experience of your life has been divinely and lovingly planned so that your life will unfold for His glory and for your greatest good. “The LORD is your light and salvation” means that the LORD of the universe is the One who has personally ordained all the events of your life, the ones that you deem as pleasant and the ones that you experience as unpleasant, such that you will be conformed more and more to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29) and will live a life that glorifies Him. Since the LORD is your light and your salvation, there is no one to fear and there is nothing to fear. “He who did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) The LORD is your salvation: Therefore, fear not.

The second truth contained in this first verse is that the LORD is the defense of my life and I should therefore not dread. It is those who have no Champion who live in dread, but the disciple of Jesus Christ has an invincible Conqueror, a dread Champion (Jeremiah 20:11) who can never be beaten, acting as his defense. Jesus is our refuge, our fortress, our impregnable rock, our sanctuary. He alone is the defense of my life and He alone determines what comes into my life and when. In the Old Testament times, an orphan or a widow would live in dread, because their defense was gone and their “hedge” had been removed. (Consider Naomi in the book of Ruth, in chapter one.) The orphan or the widow lived in dread, anticipating the day when the destroyer would come. But, brothers and sisters, we are not orphans! We have become the adopted children of the Lord of hosts and we have become the brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is folly to live as an orphan when the King of the universe has made you an heir of all things with His Son, the Lord Jesus. But more than that, it is disobedience to live in dread. We are commanded in the Scriptures not to fear, because fear reveals a lack of trust in Him who is perfectly and completely faithful.

So because of the Lord Jesus, we are no longer to fear and we are no longer to dread. Rather, we trust the Lord fully and we embrace the future with confidence and hope, knowing that the LORD is our light and our salvation and our defense. Amen.  SDG  rmb  6/7/2016

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