The Treasury of David

Lesson 8 - The giant of fear

The Giant of Fear

(Psalm 56) David found himself in an exceedingly dangerous situation. Because of the anointing of God upon his life King Saul had become jealous of him. King Saul twice attempted to kill him and placed a death warrant on his life. David had done nothing wrong to provoke this jealousy.

David wasn’t a coward, but now he is running for his life. David first ran to the prophet Samuel trying to find direction but King Saul learned he was there and sent men to arrest him. (I Samuel 19:18) David left Samuel and fled to Jonathan, who was King Saul’s son asking for his help. (I Samuel 20:1) Jonathan couldn’t help him so he fled to Ahimelech, the High Priest trying to find an answer. (I Samuel 21:1)

This is what we call “flying blind.” He had no sense of direction of what he should do. In his attempt to escape his trouble he decided to go to the Philistine city of Gath. When the Philistines learned who had arrived in Gath carrying the sword of their dead hero, Goliath, David realized what a serious mistake he had made. Has fear ever caused you to do something foolish?

Sooner or later all of us will face the giant of fear. The danger David faced from King Saul was real, but the danger he faced from the Philistines in Gath was just as real.

Fear is a natural response to danger. It can actually help us during times of danger by putting us on high alert, but here is what the Bible calls a spirit of fear. “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7) A spirit of fear is not good. A spirit of fear paralyzes our faith. In this song, David teaches us how he overcame the giant of fear.

1. I will trust

David recognized he had lost his trust in God. He had started believing the devil’s lie that God had forsaken him. “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” (Psalm 56:3) He realized he could fear or he could trust God, but he couldn’t do both at the same time. He chose to make a commitment to trust God.

Trust is another form of faith. Trust is placing our confidence in the character of God. Trust is believing God will do what is best for us. Please note, David did not put his trust in people, not even in himself. He placed his trust in God. He chose to look up rather than looking at his circumstances.

2. I will praise

David made a commitment to worship. “In God (I will praise His word).” (Psalm 56:4) He refused to allow anything to stop him from praising God. His decision to praise God helped to calm his fears.

He says he will praise God’s word. This is the opposite of what his enemies are doing to his words. “All day they twist my words.” (Psalm 56:5) “Their thoughts are against me for evil.” The devil does the opposite with words that God does. “In the beginning was the word.” (John 1:1) “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) God’s word is the truth but what the devil says is lies.

David understood that only the word of God is sure. We can build our lives on the word of God but the lies of the devil will destroy us.

3. I will not be afraid

David began this psalm trembling in fear. He was facing a bigger giant the Goliath. But he concluded his song by confidently worshipping God. (Psalm 56:10) Fear is a choice. We don’t have to be afraid. David realized God had not forsaken him.

  • God was numbering his steps. (Psalm 56:8)
  • God was counting his tears.
  • God was keeping good records.

One of David’s greatest revelations was “God is for me.” (Psalm 56:9) What a tremendous truth. The devil wants us to believe God is our enemy. That is not true. “God is able to keep us from falling.” (Psalm 56:13)

God led David away from the city of Gath and he found a refuge from King Saul in the cave of Adullam. God not only gave him refuge but soon a band of 400 men joined him. This band of men became his “mighty men” who stayed faithful to David for the rest of his life. They became the heroes of Israel and helped David and Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem. Psalm 34 is David’s response to Psalm 56.

God Wants to Give Us Victory Over the Giant of Fear.

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About the Author: Dr. Dale Yerton

Dr. Yerton serves as an overseer of a network of churches across the world. What began as a network of six church groups representing 500 churches in Mexico has grown into an international ministry. 

He and Evelyn, his wife over fifty years, live in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. They have two daughters: Lora–married to the Rev. Vince Farrell, pastors of Journey Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky–and Kari—also of Hopkinsville–and are the proud grandparents of Emma and Bennett Farrell.

Dale Yerton