by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee (Psalm 56:3).
1Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.
2Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.
3What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
4In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
5Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.
6They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul.
7Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God.
8Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
9When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.
10In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word.
11In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
12Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.
13For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?
God has put enmity between Satan and the woman and between the seed of Satan and the seed of the woman. The wicked, the godless, the unbelievers are the deadly enemies of the children of God and would destroy them if they could. And the children of God are in themselves so weak, that they "cannot stand for a moment against their deadly enemies." Is it any wonder that they are often sore afraid? When the Egyptians came upon the children of Israel at the Red Sea, the Israelites were sore afraid. When Goliath the giant defied Israel, "all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid."
But men are also sore afraid when God reveals some of his glory unto them. When the angel of the Lord came upon the shepherds on Bethlehem's field, "and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; they were sore afraid." The three disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration were sore afraid.
Only when a child of God is assured that God is with him can he put his trust in him and be not afraid. Then he can say, "In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me." "How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings." "Precious hiding place, precious hiding place, in the shelter of his love." There we are safe.
O Lord, Thou art our strength and fortress, our refuge in the day of affliction. When we are afraid, speak Thou unto us. May we hear Thee say, Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Strengthen us that we may be able to withstand our spiritual enemies. For Jesus' sake. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Ex. 14:10; 1 Sam. 17:24; Luke 2:9; Mark 9:6; Ps. 36:7.
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