THE LORD IS ON MY SIDE- I WILL NOT FEAR
Psalm 11 8: 5-6a
Addie J. Hall
I read a story about a humble woman walking along a road carrying a large bundle of clothes on her head. It was noon and the heat was suffocating, but still she walked. A man driving by saw her and, sympathizing, he stopped and offered her a ride. The woman got in the car and made herself comfortable in the rear seat. After driving awhile, the man saw that the woman still carried the bundle of clothes on her head. "Ma'am," he said, "Put your bundle of clothes on the seat. You need not carry it. The car will carry you and your bundle, too!"
Isn't that what we do with the "bundles' within our lives? We carry them on our own when help is available. All we have to do is deliver our concerns to our Lord, who promise to help us all the days of our lives. The psalmist in Psalm II 8 knew that for he said, "I called upon the Lord in my distress: The Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear."
Psalm II 8 is ordinarily categorized as a song of thanksgiving. Like other Psalms of this type, it recounts and celebrates an experience of deliverance. However, Psalm II 8 is unique. While the speaker for most of the Psalms is an individual "I," the distress recounted seems to suggest a crisis of national proportions. Some scholar concluded that the "I" is the King of Israel speaking of the people, but this is elusive.
Verse five offers a succinct account of the deliverance. The Hebrew root of the noun distress has the sense of "restricted," "narrow," "tight." Out of my distress, I called upon the Lord ... All nations surrounded me .... they surrounded me like bees. Have you ever seen bees surround a person? I have. My son was four years old. We lived on the beautiful island of Guam. In our yard there were red and pink sweet Hibiscus. He and his friend were playing and he fell among the flowers, I heard him cry out, "Mommy, Mommy." I ran to him and saw that he was covered from head to toe with bees. I called upon the Lord and He heard my call. I fought the bees and the child was safe. I have some idea as to how the Psalmist felt. The Psalmist continued saying, "I was pushed hard, so that I was falling. Reading further, one could say that he even might have been ill. Verses 17 and 18 give credence to this. We don't know his total struggle. We do know that the Lord heard his cry, answered him and set him free. Therefore, he could proclaim, "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. Not I shall not fear; I will not fear. Will is a strong word. He was saying, "Fear is against my will."
Our world is filled with fear. Some people are afraid to stay home alone during stormy weather. Others have burglar bars and burglar alarms. Some are afraid to leave their homes. Some are afraid of their neighbors, family members ... children are afraid of parents and parents are afraid of children. Does any of this remind you of Bible prophecies? I heard a young black man on the evening news say that he was questioned by the police for driving a new car in a certain neighborhood. He said that he was afraid not knowing what the policeman would do. We live in a world of fear. Children are now afraid of the fire alarm in school, teachers are afraid, parents are afraid of their children attending school. Others are afraid of their jobs. There is fear of war. There are fears of and within relationships. Do you realize that fear is a satanic force that works against society at every opportunity?. The good news is that faith is a creative force that God uses to build and uplift Ms people. The devil challenges the promises of God with fear-filled lie of his own.
As children of God, we will not fear! Why? God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim. !:7). We will not fear because God is own our side. We will not fear because is fear activated by the devil. We will not fear because faith is God's source of power, and we operate in faith. We will not fear because fear is destructive. Fear is a killer. Fear is not an ingredient in God's success plan., We will not fear because fear wipes out God's plan. Why fear things that we think are going to happen, has happened or will never happen? We will not fear for Lord is on our side. We will not fear! Faith produces life. Faith takes a curse and turns it into a blessing. Faith takes non-caring and turns it into resurrection. If God is on our side whom shall we fear?
God spoke through Isaiah 43:1-2 telling us, "Fear not, for I have redeemed thee. I have called thee by thy name; thou are mine. When thou passest through the water, I will be with thee." God is telling His people over and over not to fear. There is no fear in love. Perfect love casteth out fear because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (I John 4:18). Fear must be replaced with faith, trust, belief, hope and steadfastness that produce faithfulness. Why? The Lord is on our side. Fear and faith are opposites. Without faith it is impossible to serve God. (Heb. 1 1:6)
Faith is the New Testament word for the Old Testament word Trust which appears in the Old Testament 105 times. The prophets deepen the meaning of faith in several ways. For Isaiah (7:1-9) security does not rest in political power but in trust in God, in fact, the totality of life must be based on trust in God. Isaiah 7:9 says, "If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established. Proverb 3:5 tells us to: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart. Put all your trust in the Lord.
Jesus told his disciples to "Have faith in God." (Mark 1 1:22). Roman 10: 17 tells us that faith (pistis) cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word (rhema). I want to tell you, that faith is not a trophy to put on display as an exhibit, it is not a broach or pin for impressing people. Faith
is a gift from God. Faith is knowing that God can't lie. It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. Jesus used the tiny mustard seed to describe faith. "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed... nothing will be impossible for you." At times I feel that my faith is as small as a mustard seed... Sometimes, I feel that I am all alone here in Atlanta and God has to speak to me and say, "I am with you always, trust me." He has to remind me of who I am and whose I am. With faith one will be able to withstand any challenge.
Faith is knowing that God will do what God said He will do. Permit me to name a few of the Old Testament saints who had faith:
It was by faith that Abel obeyed God and brought an offering that pleased God.
It was by faith that Abraham trusted God, and when God told him to leave home and he obeyed.
It was by faith that Sarah became a mother in old age.
It was by faith that Rahab the harlot did not die with all the others because she believed in God and in power. We cannot exhaust the list of great people of faith.
There were those in the New Testament that were healed by faith. By faith many miracles occurred.
Through out the centuries, faith still works.
By faith one of George Bernard Shaw's plays was first produced when he was 94 years old.
By faith the Poet Tennyson wrote his famous "Crossing the Bar" when he was 80 years old.
By faith Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune started a school with one dollar and fifty cents.
By faith Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. changed the course of our nation.
By faith many great men and women of various ethnic groups (African-Americans, Asians, Caucasians, Hispanics, Native Americans, All groups) have made great contributions to our nation and our world.
Peter Bohler's words to John Wesley were "To preach faith till you have it and because you have it, you will preach faith." We are in a war and God needs bold soldiers in His army. We must preach faith!
Let me give my testimony. By faith I was healed from arthritis in my right hand. It was by faith that when the doctor couldn't find out what was wrong. Jesus steps in and by His strips I was healed. The Lord is on my side. By faith I was not bruised when a drunk driver hit my car driving between 85 and 95 miles an hour trying to flee the from the policeman and my car never moved. The Lord is on my side. By faith God put out a fire that was in my kitchen with a big gush of wind and the chief of the Fire Department couldn't understand it. The Lord is on my side. By faith an Angel stopped and changed a flat tire for me. After thanking him and getting in my car a strange feeling fell upon me, I couldn't help but look back. There was no man visible. That's why I know that the man was an angel. Fortunately, my best friend in Florida was with me as an eye witness. The Lord is on my side. I have seen miracle after miracle because God is on my side.
In concluded this sermon, I want you to know that I am not ashamed to testify for God. The Lord is one my side; I will not fear. With Holy Spirit Power, I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am an ambassador for the Lord. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secured. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
I don't need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotion nor popularity. I have the Lord on my side; I will not fear. I don't have to be first, right, tops, recognized, praised, regarded nor rewarded. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. I now live by faith, lean on God's presence, walk by patience, Lift Jesus up and bless other through prayer and labor. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. I challenge you to make sure that the Lord is on your side and you will not fear.
Introduction Illustration - The Tower Chimes of the First United Methodist Church. Vol. 7,
Dr. Karl K. Stegall, Pastor, Montgomery, Alabama.
The New King James Version of The Holy Bible. Thomas Nelson Publisher, Nashville, 1985
Addie J. Hall
2612 North 13th Avenue
Pensacola, Florida 3235 0
The New Revised Standard Version of The Holy Bible. Thomas Nelson Publisher, Nashville, 1990