I am really good at fearing. I fear the future. I worry about what could happen with my family. I’m anxious about providing for us. I plot and plan and scheme trying to manipulate the future in my mind. I fear.
This past week only gave me more opportunities to practice.
Last night a gentleman in our church reminded me that we fear for two main reason. We fear because 1) we are ignorant and we fear because 2) we are not in control.
1. Ignorance does not mean stupidity, but merely a lack of knowledge. Everyone is ignorant of the future. We do not know what will happen. And when that reality come crashing down on us, fear takes hold.
2. Lack of control is nothing new. In reality, we are not in control of anything, but we feel as though we are in control – most of the time. When that control is taken away, fear takes hold.
David knew fear. David was ignorant. David had all vestiges of control ripped from his grasp. A particularly telling episode occurred as David fled from Saul in 1 Samuel 21:10-22:1.
“10 And David rose and fled that day from Saul and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances,
‘Saul has struck down his thousands,
and David his ten thousands’?”
12 And David took these words to heart and was much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”
22:1 David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him.” (ESV)
David, in his flight from Saul, runs into the mouth of another lion. Verse twelve says that “David took these words to heart and was much afraid of Achish.” He feared.
The next verses record the embarrassing antics of the anointed king masquerading as a madman. I am sure that David was not proud of this record. The one who had killed the famous “Goliath of Gath” (1 Sam 17:4), was now spitting and scratching, and playing the fool.
But fear doesn’t have to control. You can trust in the face of fear.
Latter this week we will look at David’s reflections from this embarrassing episode in Psalm 56. There he highlights four action steps we can take to move from fear to trust.
To hear our personal testimony about Fear and Trust you can listen here.