On Saturday I decided to get up out of the smog and go hiking in some of the mountains east of L.A. I ended up at Idyllwild, somewhere between 5000 and 6000 feet in elevation in a sparsely forested mountainous area. I assumed that hiking trails would be obvious when I got up there, and maybe they were, but all I could find was a guide for short walks. I went on one of these and took in some cool views…More importantly, I talked with God on my hike and I meditated on the words of the 53rd Psalm. It was the Psalm that came up in my regular reading that day. I ended up especially meditating on verse 5, “There they were, overwhelmed with dread, where there was nothing to dread. God scattered the bones of those who attacked you; you put them to shame, for God despised them.” Now I am usually uncomfortable when people play fast and loose with Scripture. But when I read this verse, it said something to me that I think is very different from the intent of David when he first wrote it. I think what David was saying was that the enemies of Israel were overwhelmed with dread when humanly speaking there was nothing to dread since the enemies of Israel had greater man-power. God himself overwhelmed the enemies of Israel, causing them to dread, and scattered their bones. But here’s what I got when I first read it: The followers of God were overwhelmed with dread when there was nothing to dread because God will defeat and “scatter the bones,” of the enemies of his people. This really spoke to me because there have been times in my life when I've been in bondage to fear. But if I really believe God’s word, the Bible, and if I believe that God is present with me then why should I fear anything? Why should I be overwhelmed with dread when God will scatter the bones of my enemies? So this Psalm spoke to me about how Satan often deceives Christians into fear when we have nothing to fear. After all, even if we are killed in this life, we will have life-eternal in the glory of the God the Father with the Son and the Holy Spirit. And if God wills that we continue to live in this foreign land then He will deliver us.
I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Amen