“You, LORD, are the light that keeps me safe,” begins this psalm attributed to David, the man chosen by God to become Israel’s greatest king. From his youth as a shepherd, tending his father’s flocks day and night, David had known darkness and its dangers. But his confidence in the LORD was so sure, so true, that even in times of darkness he could proclaim, “I am not afraid of anyone.”Read More
Psalm 34 is an acrostic poem in its original Hebrew language; the first word of each stanza begins with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
While the Psalm may read more like prose in English, it can be helpful to remember that it is indeed poetry, and to read it like carefully crafted poetry is meant to be read: slowly, reflectively, savouring each new thought.Read More fear, praise, trouble
When Jesus sent his disciples out on their ministry assignment, he knew that they would be challenged. Knowing that disagreeable surprises can unsettle us, Jesus gave them an idea of what they would face and how to deal with it. When they went out to preach in the villages, they’d have to contend with unpleasant situations that Jesus usually handled directly. Thankfully, for them, and for Christians today, Jesus gave some guidance as to how to respond to trouble.Read More faith, fear, God’s love
Skeletons left in our closets will ultimately haunt us. Our good deeds and benevolence will not erase the giants of our unfinished messes.
Twenty years after deceiving his father Isaac, Jacob was about to come face to face with his brother Esau from whom he had robbed the family blessing.Read More consequences, fear, guilt, prayer
From the evidence provided by our reading, we learn that Herod tended to react impulsively. Firstly, there was his reaction to John the Baptist, a righteous man who dared to publicly disapprove of Herod’s adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife. Herod impetuously had John arrested to silence his voice.
Secondly, there was his reaction to a dancing girl.Read More fear, impulsiveness, peace
Have you ever obediently embarked on a mission for God and then had it turn out badly? In this story the Israelites obediently send out twelve leaders on a reconnaissance mission to the Promised Land to find out about the residents (how strong they and their defenses are) and how good the land is.
The spies return from their mission and they have made all the right observations.Read More fear, smallness
The twelve leaders have reported – they have drawn divergent conclusions from their mission observations. The community must now choose, and they give into fear. They cry “all night” and then complain against Moses and Aaron, wishing they had died in Egypt or the desert, fully convinced that God is leading them into Canaan “just to have us killed and our women and children captured”.Read More fear, rebellion @en, unbelief
I love the back-story in this passage. It gives us a different view of Herod than what we might otherwise see. It also shows us how our faith must be in God alone, and not in who we know.
It’s no secret that who you know is sometimes more important than what you know. Whether it’s a job you are looking for, or a fine you don’t want to pay, or a loan you want a good rate on, if you know the right person you can often get what you want.Read More fear, knowing Jesus
Moses had his game face on. Imagine standing at the Jordan River, preparing to take the field spreading out before you. The time of testing has come. Strength, skill and courage will all be tested. Faith is not only a contemplative matter. It is made visible in the place where testing occurs. Moses knew something of fear in his own life experience. He had once been on the run but God called him back to face down those fears.Read More faith, fear, provision