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Finding true security


Finding true security
Posted on June 9, 2021  - By Leni B

“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.

Longing to be secure

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: 

  • Joshua 1: Moses was no longer around. God strengthened Joshua by assuring him that He had given the land of Canaan to the Israelites. It was theirs to take. All they had to do was be strong and courageous, not letting the law depart from their mouth. They were to meditate on it day and night. I’m sure the people thought that possessing the land would bring them security in life. They would finally have a land of their own.
  • Judges 2: An angel of the Lord demanded to know why the children of Israel made covenants with the inhabitants of the land and had yet to tear down their altars. Their decisions cost them dearly: the ungodly people around them became thorns in their sides; their false gods became snares.
    Soon after Joshua and his generation died, a new generation that did not know the Lord came up. They abandoned the Lord God and did evil in His sight by serving these false gods — gods that promised security but would never be able to deliver on that promise.
    The allegiance to the idols angered the Lord and He gave them over to other nations. However, God — as He always does — also displayed mercy by raising judges to deliver them. But the stubborn people drifted further away from God with each new judge. 
  • 1 Samuel 8: When Samuel retired from old age, his sons took over as the judges of Israel. But both of them, Joel and Abiah, were corrupt. They took bribes and perverted justice. This made the people unhappy. They demanded a king — like all the other nations around. Perhaps they thought that a king would make them feel secure.
    Samuel felt rejected, but God set the record straight: it was Yahweh, their true King, that they had rejected. God warned His people; kings would eventually oppress them, He said. But the people persisted, so God allowed it.  
  • 1 Samuel 9: Saul was elected as the first human king of Israel. He was from the tribe of Benjamin, of the family of Kish. The people hoped that Saul would bring them the security they longed for. 
  • 2 Samuel 5: The elders of Israel recognised David as king. After six years and six months, he moved from Hebron to Jerusalem; he overtook it despite the resistance from the Jebusites. David built a great palace there.
    The Philistines challenged the new king, but they were soon defeated. It began to look like, perhaps, the Israelites would have their safety and security after all.

Samuel felt rejected, but God set the record straight: it was Yahweh, their true King, that they had rejected.

Counterfeit securities

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.

Do not fear, only trust

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: 

  • For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but whoever listens to Me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster. Proverbs 1:32-33
  • 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
  • The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin. Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. Proverbs 10:8-9
  • My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:21-26

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.

Leni B

About Leni B

Leni B is a wife and mom to two teenagers, who loves the God of the Bible. Apart from ministering at home, she helps lead a Bible study for a small group of women as they study, and find strength from, God's infallible Word together.



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