OUR DAILY BREAD DEVOTIONAL FOR SEPTEMBER 25, 2023 (REASON FOR FEAR)
TOPIC: REASON FOR FEAR
Bible in a Year: Song of Songs 6–8 Galatians 4
Memory Verse: The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
Today’s Scripture & Insight: Psalm 118:1–7
Psalm 118 is the last of six psalms (Psalms 113–118) known as the “Egyptian Hallel.” The Israelites used this collection of psalms in the Passover celebration. “Egyptian” is a reference to when “Israel came out of Egypt” (114:1; see Exodus 6:6–7), and Hallel means praise. Psalms 113–114 are sung before the Passover meal and Psalms 115–118 afterward.
Psalm 118 is the second most-quoted psalm in the New Testament (Psalm 110 is the first). When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the crowds shouted the words of Psalm 118:26, proclaiming Jesus as the king to free them from Roman bondage (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9; Luke 19:38; John 12:13). Christ quoted Psalm 118:22–23 in the parable of the tenants (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10–11; Luke 20:17). Peter cited these same verses in Acts 4:11 and 1 Peter 2:7, and Paul alludes to them in Ephesians 2:20–21. Hebrews 13:6 quotes from Psalm 118:6.
When I was a boy, the schoolyard was where bullies threw their weight around and kids like me received that bullying with minimal protest. As we cowered in fear before our tormenters, there was something even worse: their taunts of “Are you scared? You’re afraid of me, aren’t you? There’s no one here to protect you.”
In fact, most of those times I really was frightened—and with good cause. Having been punched in the past, I knew I didn’t want to experience that again. So, what could I do and whom could I trust when I was stricken with fear? When you’re eight years old and being bullied by a kid who is older, bigger, and stronger, the fear is legitimate.
When the psalmist faced attack, he responded with confidence rather than fear—because he knew he didn’t face those threats alone. He wrote, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6). As a boy, I’m not sure I would have been able to understand his level of confidence. As an adult, however, I’ve learned from years of walking with Christ that He’s greater than any fear-inducing threat.
The threats we face in life are real. Yet we need not fear. The Creator of the universe is with us, and He’s more than enough.
Reflect & Pray
What are you fearing today? Ask God for His presence, comfort, and protection for whatever you’re facing.
Father, thank You that You’re with me and that I can trust You in those moments to see me through by Your grace.
Our Daily Bread 2023 Devotional is written by Bill Crowder and published by Our Daily Bread Ministries.