Fear, My Manipulative Emotion

We know God sees and observes all that happens in his creation. Unlike us, he is not limited by nearsighted vision, darkness, or obstruction. Everything and everyone everywhere is always in his line of sight. Some find this comforting while others will find it troubling.

Psalm 33 describes how God “looks” and “sees” all the people who dwell on the earth (vv.13-14). What does he see when he looks on the people of the earth? He sees what he has created – us. I like how the New Living Translation translates verse 15.

He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do.

What does God understand about me…about you? Everything, of course, but he understands us specifically too. The verses in the Psalm that follow shed some light.

16. No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength.
17. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength.

18. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy,
19. To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

20. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.
21. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.
22. Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in You.

He understands I often live in a great deal of fear.

I’ve structured my world to reduce fear by assembling armies of insurance companies, savings accounts, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and identity theft monitoring.

I’ve disciplined my body to reduce risks of disease and injury.

I’ve placed around me people I trust in order to prevent betrayals, and I've aligned myself with people who are stronger than I am in order to overcome weaknesses, opponents and threats.

Despite all of this, I live in fear.

None of my preventive measures can save me in the battle against overwhelming forces. I’m doomed, and I know it. I live in fear of the inevitable.

  • No one can save me from accidental death.

  • No one can save me from irresistible temptation.

  • No one can save me from betrayal.

  • No one can save me from bankruptcy.

  • No one can save me from bitterness.

  • No one can save me from satanic attacks.

  • No one can save me from soul starvation.

  • No one can save me from complete failure.

The psalmist’s world is my world, and I want the psalmist’s response to be mine too. I want to always remember the Lord’s eye is on me to deliver me and keep me alive (vv.18-19). I want to always recall he helps me and he defends me (v.20). I want to live happy because I can trust in him, and I don’t have to trust in every plan and action that I have made for myself or that others have made for me (v.21). I want to always say, “I hope in God” (v.22).

I’ve lived too many days in fear. I know a lot of people who live every day in fear of people and circumstances. I want live free of fears. I want to live contented. I want to live with a quiet mind. I want to sleep the sleep of the safe. I only want to fear the Lord.

All this and more can be and is true of me because the Lord looks down from heaven and sees me. Seeing me he acts for my good and his glory.

Be still, my soul, the Lord is on thy side.

As always I welcome your feedback and any suggestions you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.