5I was laid down and I slept,
I was awakened because the Lord will be my help.
6I will not be afraid of the myriads of people
surrounding me to attack me.
First of all, this is probably the clunkiest of all the LXX translations I’ve done here so far. There’s some grammar going on here that I don’t quite understand, so I used the English translations of the Hebrew text to heavily inform this translation. Thank goodness those English translations are done by people eminently more qualified and learned than I am. It’s nice to have such a degree of confidence in our English translations of God’s Word that because of the many skilled and careful men and women who contribute to the translation efforts.
It is quite easy to see in verse five the peace David receives from his confidence in the Lord. This is the same type of peace that Phil. 4:7 talks about. Even when we are at our most exasperated point in the faith, we can receive strength from God because it is He who holds our lives secure in the palm of His hand. This is demonstrated in the life of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:1-8.
If we focus on ourselves and find security in our own efforts or our status with other people, we will crumble when pressed. Our sinful flesh only provides us with failure. But with God Himself as our rock and anchor, because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, we can not only stand secure, but also rest peacefully.
I recently read the account of Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 32. Jerusalem was surrounded by the hordes of the army of Assyria. His faith was being assaulted by Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, who proclaimed before the people of Jerusalem, “Now, therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you in this fashion, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand!” (2 Chron. 32:15) Hezekiah’s only hope was in the Lord for salvation, and the Lord delivered him miraculously from all his enemies (2 Chron. 32:20-22).
This is a picture of our own lives as we are confronted by our sin and Satan the accuser (Eph. 6:12). We stand utterly helpless and condemned to death. We realize the truth that no other god, belief system, or philosophy has been able to deliver a single soul from eternal torment because of the guilt each one of us has. Driven to despair like the Apostle Paul in Rom. 7:24, we finally turn to God to deliver us.
It is then the Gospel truth of Rom.5:8-9 rings through our ears: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”
What a wonderful announcement! It’s not the wrath of our enemies we need to fear, but it’s the wrath of the God. Why is that so wonderful? Because we know that God focused all His wrath on His Son for our sakes (Mark 15:34) so that we might receive the righteousness of Jesus Christ in place of our own unrighteousness. With this truth secure in our minds and hearts, we can, like David, Elijah, and Hezekiah lie down, sleep, and rise again because it is the Lord who sustains us and protects us from anything we have to fear.
**One quick programming note: tomorrow is my regular day off from blogging, but I’m going to be in North Dakota tomorrow evening and all day Monday. Normal blogging should resume on Tuesday.