Summary: If you have kept abreast of the events that have been transpiring around us as a nation, a society, and a family, you would agree then that we are afflicted with many adversities: such as terrorism, bankruptcy, betrayal, suicide, drugs, divorce, embezzlem
If you have kept abreast of the events that have been transpiring around us as a nation, a society, and a family, you would agree then that we are afflicted with many adversities: such as terrorism, bankruptcy, betrayal, suicide, drugs, divorce, embezzlement and all sorts of violence which affected the fabric of our being as a people.
These adversities or diabolical acts have caused millions to live a life of fear within their place of residence, community, and/or place of employment. Therefore, today I will like to expound upon this very subject, “In the Grip of Fear.”
For every one of us has experienced this horrible uncontrollable feeling of fear: and in our text in the third stanza we have echoed these words verbally out load or silently to our selves several times when we encountered something inexplicable, horrible, or unknowing: “I am afraid.”
How many can testify to that openly and honestly?
For I believe many of you at this moment, watching this broadcast as well can testify that you have echoed these very words, “I am afraid.” If the truth were told, you are living at this moment in a life filled with fear. Fear of losing a love one, fear of losing your job, fear of starting that business, fear of confronting your problems, fear of standing for what you believe in, and even fear of coming to church.
Therefore, due to this feeling, which causes some to flee, others to fight, and many to become immobile and unproductive, I want us to look at what our psalmist did about his fear so that we can better overcome this grip of fear.
However, before we do let me direct your attention to the ending of the subtitle of our text. For it is extremely significant and it will gives us the actual story behind this psalm. Look with me at the bottom part of the subtitle: for it states, “when the Philistines took him [referring to David] in Gath.”
This subtitle is referring to how this psalm came about: for fear griped the soul of David when he encountered his enemies in Gath.
So, let me extend the parameters of our text to get a clearer understanding of our subject and a better picture of our character David.
First Samuel the twenty-first chapter verses ten through twelve states,
“And David arouse, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands? And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath.”
Let me emphasize now and mark two statements in your mind of what I just read. Verse 10 of 1 Samuel 21 – "And David arose and fled that day for fear of Saul” and verse 12 – "And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish." Now let us look at our text again in Psalm 56.
• Verse 3 – What time I am afraid …
• Verse 4 – In God, I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.
• Verse 11 – In God I put my trust: I will not be afraid…"
In 1 Samuel 21, the Holy Spirit saw fit to only record the facts of David’s experiences. Psalm 56 of our text, the Spirit reveals the feelings that went with them. Those feelings were fear, uncontrolled fear, which gripped David’s soul.
As stated, we can relate as a nation, as a society, as a community, and as individuals to David here within our text: for all of us has experienced or is experiencing presently this feeling of fear. For we know what it is like to be in the vise-grip of panic like David– driven and controlled by fear.
For fear has robbed some of us of sleep. Fear has caused some of us to lie about our problems. Fear has caused some of us to remain silent when we should have spoken out about our opinions and convictions.
I’m talking about fear, you know that fear which wars against your soul and your purpose. I’m talking about that fear which ties your hand, cripples your feet, and stresses your heart.
I’m talking about the “fear” of rejection which has caused some of us to compromise. The “fear” of failure, which has caused some of us to work harder and harder – trying to be the perfect parent, the perfect spouse, the most productive employee – but the result left pain, grief, and sorrow.