"1 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? 2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. 3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. 4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. 5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. 6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord. 7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! 8 You have said, “Seek my face.”My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” 9 Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation! 10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. 11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. 12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence. 13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"
vs. 1 - whom shall I fear (yare') - "to tremble, to be afraid, to dread, to be terrified"
vs. 1 - stronghold (ma'owz) - "place of safety and protection, a refuge, a harbor, fortified place, a rock, strength"
vs. 1 - whom shall I be afraid (pachad) - "to be startled by sudden alarm, to fear, to shake, to be in great dread, to fear continually, to be timid, to be in trepidation"
vs. 3 - my heart (leb) - "inner man, mind, will, understanding, soul, conscience, seat of emotions and passions, seat of appetites, seat of courage"
vs. 3 - confident (batach) - "to trust, to be bold, to be secure, to feel safe, to set one's hope and confidence on anyone, to fear nothing for oneself"
vs. 4 - asked - (sha'al) - "to inquire, to seek, to beg, to demand"
vs. 4 - seek after (baqash) - "to seek to find and secure, to desire, to demand, to require, to search out by any method (specifically in prayer and worship), to strive after, to seek the face of God"
vs. 4 - dwell (yashab) - "to sit down, to remain, to abide, to settle, to inhabit"
vs. 4 - beauty (no'am) - "kindness, pleasantness, delightfulness, favor, splendor or grace, brightness"
vs. 5 - hide (tsaphan) - "to treasure up, to cover over, to favorably protect, to protect, to hoard or reserve"
vs. 5 - day of trouble (ra') - "bad, disagreeable, sad, unhappy, unkind, misery, calamity, distress, injury"
vs. 5 - conceal (cathar) - "to be hidden carefully, to cover, to guard, to defend"
vs. 10 - take me in ('acaph) - "to gather, to bring up the rear, to receive into, to take to oneself, to assemble"
vs. 11 - level path (miyshowr) - "uprightness, level place, justice, straightness"
vs. 14 - wait (qavah) - "to look for, to hope, to expect, to lie in wait, to look eagerly for, to bind together, to be strong and robust"
vs. 14 - be strong (chazaq) - "to strengthen, to be firm, to restore to strength, to make bold, to encourage, to withstand, to hold strongly, to bind bonds strongly, to take hold of"
vs. 14 - take courage ('amats) - "to be strong, alert, courageous, brave, stout, bold, secure, firm, to exhibit strength, steadfastly minded"
What does this reveal about God's character?
God is our protector. We can run to Him in our day of trouble - when we are sad or miserable, when evil is inflicted on us, or we are treated unkindly. He is a refuge for all who seek Him, and He will be found when we seek with all our heart. God will always come through for us. This may not look like what we expect or want, but He will never fail us (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6). This is why we can put our full confidence and hope in Him (Hebrews 10:23). This is how we can be strong, steadfastly-minded and hopeful while we are waiting, for it is in the waiting that He renews our strength (Isaiah 40:31).
1) What do I fear?
2) Do I seek the face of God through prayer and worship? Am I abiding with God continually everyday or do I drop in and say hi on Sunday mornings?
3) Am I weary? Have I reached the end of myself and need to be strengthened by the Lord?
4) What causes my courage and strength to fail?
5) What does it mean to be strong in the Lord? And, how can I live this out?
Father God, I come to you today thankful for your covering and protection. Thank you that you will be found by me when I seek you with my whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13). Lord, I present to you all my fears - the little everyday things that fail, the big things that weigh me down, all of the unknowns - I lay it all at your feet. The burden is too heavy for me to carry (1 Peter 5:7). Fear seems amplified and larger than my faith, but I know this is a tactic of the enemy to get my eyes off of you and onto the wind and waves. Lord, I take up the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:10-18), and I choose to fix my eyes on you (Hebrews 12:1-3). Give me awareness and alertness to be on guard against the enemy and to stand firm in my faith. Strengthen my heart and my faith and give me courage and resolve to follow you. I choose to bind myself to you so that I can stand against the schemes of the devil. Show me how big and great and powerful you are in comparison to the devil. Let me see him and the fear he invokes accurately and for what it is. Embolden me. Lord, give me faith to move mountains. I put my trust and my hope in you. I will wait for your deliverance and be strengthened in the power of your might. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen!