“My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me.”
~ Psalm 55:5 (NKJV)
In this Psalm, King David was dealing with two kinds of fears – external fears and internal fears. He feared the loss of the kingdom. He was being overthrown by his own son (see 2 Samuel 15:7-15). The nation was in tumult and confusion. He feared what would become of his throne and the future of Israel itself. He had all these external, or outward fears that had washed over him and consumed him.
Likewise, King David was dealing with heavy and severe inward fear as well. The Bible says David’s heart was severely pained with him. And I can imagine – not only was there a mutiny in the land of Israel, but it was at the hand of his most loved and cherished son. David was struggling with the fear of death – ‘the terror of death has fallen upon me’. David was on the run for his life from his own child. In this prayer, he simply confesses it has overwhelmed him.
Fear, both outward and inward, are not something reserved for people of old. God’s people deal with the reality of fear everyday. What do you fear? Do you fear illness? Failure? Change? Death? Whatever form it takes, our fears can, at times, overwhelm us.
Yet, when we truly put God first and fear Him the most, all other worldly fears melt away. Psalm 56:4 reads, “In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” Fear of the Lord. This fear, cast out the others. The more we come to worship, trust, love and serve and Him, the smaller our other fears will seem. David took his concerns to God in prayer and his God sustained and strengthen him to cast away his every fear.