Thursday, November 20, 2008

David Feared but Later I Chronicles 21:30 Psalms 23

I Chronicles 21:30 "But David could not go before it to enquire of God; for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD."

Children sometimes learn fear before they learn love. Perhaps, they always learn fear first but that is not in the parents heart, to make them fear. The parents heart is to cause them to learn respect for authority and to have a happy life.

David had done that which was forbidden. He numbered the people. There was a great price to pay for that sin. In the end, David was afraid. It may have been the first time for David to fear. He had ripped the lion by its jaws and slain the bear. He had killed the giant. He had slain his 'ten thousands'. He was a leader of men who could have themselves been mighty leaders.

We turn to Psalms 23.

v4 "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

The rod and staff were tools of a shepherd. The rod could be used for discipline and the staff could be used to rescue a lamb or sheep on a cliff. The staff was restrictive. When a lamb wondered off, I expect they quaked when the shepherd came calling them with his rod and staff. If not the first time, the second time for sure. I am told that sometimes a shepherd would have to break a leg, maybe two, to stop a lamb from wondering off. The shepherd would then carry the lamb until it was well again.

So, it was fear that first got the attention of the lamb. But the rod and staff were used to ward off the enemy. The shepherd would use the tools expertly to run off or kill wild beast that were a threat to the lambs and sheep. As time went on, the lamb grew and learned that the shepherd was there to protect them and they learned to appreciate the weapons of comfort that the shepherd carried. Fear was replaced with love and respect. They answered only to his call.

David learned this lesson. The LORD's disciplinary measures were to teach and protect him. David in turn learned to return the love of the shepherd with respect and honor and discipline. He learned that obeying was for his own good.

v5 "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over."

Within the care circle of the shepherd, it did not matter that the enemy circled in the shadows. The sheep was free to enjoy the comfort of security created by the shepherd and to partake of the blessings: a table prepared, oil to heal and more than enough from the cup.

The future is not to be feared for: v6 "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."

I John 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

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