May 23: Fear: The Fight against It
1 Chronicles 12:1–13:14; 1 Timothy 6:11–21; Psalm 81:1–82:8
Fear is poisonous. When it drives our decisions, it will slowly destroy us—causing us to make moves that are against God’s will and detrimental to ourselves and others. The antidote to fear is complete reliance on Yahweh, our God, and His work through the Spirit.
David is the epitome of someone who sets aside fear in favor of God’s work. He surrounds himself with “feared” men, his “mighty men.” The descriptions of their skills show the caliber of these warriors and thus the incredible character and skill it must have taken to lead them (1 Chr 12:1–15). It takes courage to be a leader and valor to be a leader of leaders. David was a man of valor—a man empowered by the Spirit’s work.
It would have been easy for David to worry or be concerned as a leader—especially when the Spirit comes upon a smaller group of men who oppose him. People rise up around him, and they are being chosen by God in a way he had been. But David isn’t concerned or resentful; instead, he affirms God’s work (1 Chr 12:16–18).
The Spirit empowers David again when he seeks out the ark of the covenant, which had previously been with God’s people as they went into battle and when they worshiped (1 Chr 13:1–4). In this moment, when David summons the people to undertake this task, he shows that he is not just a leader of great men, but a godly leader of great men. He understands that his own strength and skill will not carry him and his warriors. Instead, they must be guided by Yahweh. They must recover the ark that symbolized Him and His work among them, His very presence.
Rather than let fear drive him, David drives out fear in the name of His God. We should be people of the same character, showing courage and valor.
What is God doing through you? How can you allow God to banish the fears you have?
JOHN D. BARRY
- These also are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he was yet kept close, because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the valiant and helpers of the battle. They were weaponed with bows, and could use the right and the left hand with stones, and with arrows and with bows, and were of Saul’s brethren, even of Benjamin. The chief were Ahiezer, and Joash the sons of Shemaah a Gibeathite, and Jeziel, and Pelet the sons of azmaveth, Berachah and Jehu the Anathothite, And Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a valiant man among thirty, and above the thirty, and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Jozabad the Gederathite, Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite, Elkanah, and Jisshiah, and Azarel, and Joezer, Jashobeam of Korah, And Joelah, and Zebadiah the sons of Jeroham of Gedor, And of the Gadites there separated themselves some unto David into the hold of the wilderness, valiant men of war, and men of arms, and apt for battle, which could handle spear and shield, and their faces were like the faces of lions, and were like the roes in the mountains in swiftness, Ezer the chief, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third, Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth, Attai the sixth, Eliel the ninth, Jeremiah the eight, Elzabad the ninth, Jeremiah the tenth, Machbanai the eleventh. These were the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least could resist an hundred, and the greatest a thousand. These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when he had filled over all his banks, and put to flight all them of the valley, toward the East and West. And there came of the children of Benjamin, and Judah to the hold unto David, And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if you come to betray me to mine adversaries, seeing there is no wickedness in mine hands, the God of our fathers behold it, and rebuke it. And the spirit came upon Amasai, which was the chief of thirty, and he said, Thine are we, David, and with thee, O son of Jesse. Peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be unto thine helpers: for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the garrison. And of Manasseh, some fell to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle, but they helped them not: for the Princes of the Philistines by advisement sent him away, saying, He will favor to his master Saul for our heads. As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael, and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zillethai, heads of the thousands that were of Manasseh. And they helped David against that band: for they were all valiant men, and were captains in the host. For at that time day by day, there came to David to help him, until it was a great host, like the host of God. And these are the numbers of the captains that were armed to battle, and came to David to Hebron to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the Lord. The children of Judah that bare shield and spear, were six thousand and eight hundred armed to the war. Of the children of Simeon valiant men of war, seven thousand and an hundred. Of the children of Levi four thousand and six hundred. And Jehoiada was the chief of them of Aaron: and with three thousand and seven hundred. And Zadok a young man very valiant, and of his father’s household came two and twenty captains. And of the children of Benjamin the brethren of Saul three thousand: for a great part of them unto that time kept the ward of the house of Saul. And of the children of Ephraim twenty thousand, and eight hundred valiant men and famous men in the household of their fathers. And of the half tribe of Manasseh eighteen thousand, which were appointed by name to come and make David King. And of the children of Issachar which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do: the heads of them were two hundred, and all their brethren were at their commandment. Of Zebulun that went out to battle, expert in war, and in all instruments of war, fifty thousand which could set the battle in array: they were not of a double heart. And of Naphtali thousand captains, and with them with shield and spear seven and thirty thousand. And of Dan expert in battle, eight and twenty thousand and six hundred. And of Asher that went out to the battle and were trained in the wars, forty thousand. And of the other side of Jordan of the Reubenites, and of the Gadites, and of the half tribe of Manasseh with all instruments of war to fight with, and hundred and twenty thousand. All these men of war that could lead an army, came with upright heart to Hebron to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest of Israel was of one accord to make David King. And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking: for their brethren had prepared for them. Moreover, they that were near them until Issachar, and Zebulun, and Naphtali brought bread upon asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, even meat, flour, figs, and raisins, and wine and oil, and beeves and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel. And David counseled with the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and with all the governors. And David said to all the Congregation of Israel, If it seem good to you, and that it proceedeth of the Lord our God, we will send to and fro unto our brethren, that are left in all the land of Israel (for with them are the Priests and Levites in the cities and their suburbs) that they may assemble themselves unto us. And we will bring again the Ark of our God to us: for the thing seemed good in the eyes of all the people. So David gathered all Israel together from Shihor in Egypt, even unto the entering of Hamath, to bring the Ark of God from Kirjath Jearim. And David went up and all Israel to Baalah in Kirjath Jearim, that was in Judah, to bring up from thence the Ark of God the Lord that dwelleth between the Cherubims, where his Name is called on. And they carried the Ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio guided the cart. And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, both with songs and with harps, and with viols, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets. And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the Ark, for the oxen did shake it. But the wrath of the Lord was kindled against Uzza, and he smote himm, because he laid his hand upon the Ark: so he died there before God. And David was angry, because the Lord had made a breach in Uzza, and he called the name of that place, Perez Uzza unto this day. And David feared God that day, saying, How shall I bring in to me the Ark of God? Therefore David brought not the Ark to him into the city of David, but caused it to turn into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. So the Ark of God remained in the house of Obed-Edom, even in his house three months: and the Lord blessed the house of Obed-Edom, and all that he had. 1 Chronicles 12:1–13:14
- But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness. Fight the good fight of faith: lay hold of eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I charge thee in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Jesus Christ, which under Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession. That thou keep this commandment without spot, and unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, Which in due time he shall show, that is blessed and Prince only, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Who only hath immortality, and dwelleth in the light that none can attain unto, whom never man saw, neither can see, unto whom be honor and power everlasting, Amen. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, and that they trust not in uncertain riches, but in the living God, (which giveth us abundantly all things to enjoy.) That they do good, and be rich in good works, and be ready to distribute, and communicate, Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may obtain eternal life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed unto thee, and avoide profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called, Which while some profess, they have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee, Amen. 1 Timothy 6:11–21
- Sing joyfully unto God our strength: sing loud unto the God of Jacob. Take the song and bring forth the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the viol. Blow the trumpet in the new moon, even in the time appointed at our feast day. For this is a statute for Israel, and a Law of the God of Jacob. He set this in Joseph for a testimony, when he came out of the land of Egypt, where I heard a language, that I understood not. I have withdrawn his shoulder from the burden, and his hands have left the pots. Thou calledst in affliction, and I delivered thee, and answered thee in the secret of the thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah. Hear, O my people, and I will protest unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me, And wilt have no strange god in thee, neither worship any strange god, (For I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt:) open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people would not hear my voice, and Israel would none of me, So I gave them up unto the hardness of their heart, and they have walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I would soon have humbled their enemies, and turned mine hand against their adversaries. The haters of the Lord should have been subject unto him, and their time should have endured forever. And God would have fed them with the fat of wheat, and with honey out of the rock would I have sufficed thee. God standeth in the assembly of gods: he judgeth among gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Do right to the poor and fatherless: do justice to the poor and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: save them from the hand of the wicked. They know not and understand nothing: they walk in darkness, albeit all the foundations of the earth be moved. I have said, Ye are gods, and ye all are children of the most High. But ye shall die as a man, and ye princes shall fall like others. O God, arise, therefore judge thou the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations. Psalm 81:1–82:8