In today’s Psalm, we are seeking to answer the question, “Why should I fear in times of trouble?” The ESV has that as the title to the Psalm, but the entire Psalm revolves around verses 5 & 6, where the question is asked:
Why should I fear in times of trouble,
when the iniquity of those who cheat me surrounds me,
those who trust in their wealth
and boast of the abundance of their riches? (ESV)
The day of trouble here is asking what we should do when we treated unfairly by those around us who are boasting of the riches they have. Two main things stand out when trying to answer this question:
- The foolishness of seeing riches and the temporal as ultimate.
- The wisdom of trusting God and the eternal as ultimate.
The Psalm discusses the fact that all (wise, foolish, rich, poor) will die. When death comes, their riches or their earthly glory does not come with them. The psalmist calls this having “foolish confidence” (v. 13). In contrast, verses 15-20 shows the wisdom in placing our confidence in the eternal things of God. This is why we are able to not fear in the day of trouble.
The commandment “thou shall not covet” exposes within our hearts a propensity to be envious of the successes and possessions of others. The Biblical answer to this is contentment in God; rejoicing in who God is and what He has provided for us. There is great joy and freedom in loving God so deeply that all other options seem immaterial.
What does how you view possessions and the achievements of others say about your love for God? If you constantly find yourself envious of others, confess this to the Lord and ask Him to change your heart to desire Him above all else.
As we close I wanted to offer a practical way to work through the Psalms with us this summer: Pray the Psalms. Allow the Psalms to not only be read, but be a guide for your prayer life as well. Here are some helpful resources on what this looks like:
What stood out to you from today’s Psalm? Have you ever prayed through Scripture before? Comment below!
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice