“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure” (Psalm 16:8-9).
Today, I want to explore something I have wrestled with — as I’m sure most people have as well. This topic is woven into the Scripture, although we would not be able to grab a highlighter and easily circle the word right there in our Bibles.
The word, as it is, hardly appears 20 times across the 66 books (in the ESV). But if we carefully examine the following accounts in their entirety, the theme of ‘security’ bubbles up to the surface:
Samuel felt rejected, but God set the record straight: it was Yahweh, their true King, that they had rejected.
The word ‘security’ seldom appears in these passages. But we see a people looking for something to permanently pin their trust on. They longed for a sense of certainty in life — and the security it brings.
First, they longed to trust in the land that was promised to them. Later, they believed they could put their trust in people — judges — who could guard them from their enemies. When that didn’t work out so well, they begged God to designate a ruler over them.
We are not all that different from the Israelites, are we? We look to places, properties, and people in high positions to give us a sense of security. ‘If I can just get into that college, land that job, buy that house, finally find Mr/Mrs Wonderful, they will provide me with a sense of security and identity.’ We look to people in positions — politicians, governments, etc.
Given that reality, the passages mentioned above are sobering. It reminds us that we can only find security in the Lord. The rest are merely counterfeit sources of security.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:8-11).
The lesson for us is this: true security can only be found when we drop what we have been falsely relying on, and instead trust in the God who tells us to “fear not”.
We can only find security in the Lord. The rest are merely counterfeit sources of security.
The Greek word for ‘fear’ here is phobeó (pronounced as: fob-eh’-o), from the root word phobos. In the English language, ‘phobia’ is defined as a strong fear, dislike, or aversion; an uncontrollable dread, or a persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it.
Now when the shepherds were fearful (phobeó), the angel told them to “fear not”. True security, in essence, is to take God at His word and “fear not”. Here are some of the many instances where the same word is repeated in the Bible:
My prayer for all of us is that, when we face uncertainty or trouble, we will place our trust in God; that we will make it our practice to grow in God’s wisdom through His Word, trusting the promise that He will make our way secure. He alone is worthy of our trust. He alone can offer us true security.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You that our security is in You. Thank You for the security that we have in knowing we are sons and daughters of God, co-heirs with Christ. Thank You for Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and being raised from the dead, so that we could have this security, this freedom to know that we don’t have to live a perfect life to have a forever with You. Father God, thank You for all that You’re doing in our lives. Lord, we love You and praise You, and ask this prayer in Lord Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
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