Summary: Comparison between the worldy fears that assail us and the fear of God which brings us peace.
Forces in Society #1 – Fear - Psalm 103
By James Galbraith
First Baptist Church, Port Alberni
July 15, 2007
Text - Psalm 103
Ps 103:1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Ps 103:2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
Ps 103:3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
Ps 103:4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
Ps 103:5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Ps 103:6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
Ps 103:7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
Ps 103:8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
Ps 103:9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
Ps 103:10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
Ps 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
Ps 103:12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Ps 103:13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
Ps 103:14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
Ps 103:15 As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
Ps 103:16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
Ps 103:17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’S love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
Ps 103:18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
Ps 103:19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Ps 103:20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Ps 103:21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Ps 103:22 Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Fear is Big today.
There are fears that everyone can relate too,
like travelling too fast in a vehicle,
being the target of someone’s aggression,
moving to a new city,
facing a new class and even new school in the fall.
And then there are also some fears that are pretty obscure…
Peladophobia: fear of baldness and bald people.
Chaetophobia: fear of hairy people.
Levophobia: fear of objects on the left side of the body.
Dextrophobia: fear of objects on the right side of the body.
Thalassophobia: fear of being seated.
Stabisbasiphobia: fear of standing and walking.
Calyprophobia: fear of obscure meanings
Porphyrophobia: fear of the color purple
Odontophobia: fear of teeth.
Graphophobia: fear of writing in public.
Phobophobia: fear of being afraid.
All of us deal with fear, maybe on a daily basis.
And fear isn’t always a bad thing - fear of consequences keeps many of us from breaking the law, driving too fast or crossing the street in the middle of traffic.
But for too many people, fear consumes them.
Some people buy the latest fashions simply because they like them,
but others allow fear of not fitting in, or looking “out-dated”,
to motivate them to buy, buy, buy – even beyond their means.
Some diet and exercise to simply be physically fit and live healthy,
but others allow fear of their appearance to force themselves to extremes.
Eating disorders can take over people’s lives as they fear the effects of food on their health.
Most of us take precautions to protect our personal safety,
like locking our doors and not walking alone at night.
But others allow fear to keep them cooped up indoors for days on end,
just to make sure no one can get them,
or they arm themselves to ward off potential harm.
A friend of mine who worked Customs once confiscated five hand guns from a tourist’s RV’s trailer!
And sometimes fear lies at the core of some of the biggest movements in society itself.
Look at how the oil crisis of the ‘70’s changed the way we treated our resources,
and the nuclear scare of the ‘80’s affected how we saw ourselves as a species that held the power to wipe itself off of the face of the earth.
In the ‘90’s we had the Gulf war and the Y2K crisis that had so many people worried about planes falling from the skies and power grids shutting down because of poor computer programming.