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  • Writer's pictureThe Bald Believer

Fear Where There Is Nothing To Fear

Psalm 53

To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David.

1The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: There is none that doeth good. 2God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. 3Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; There is none that doeth good, no, not one. 4Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? Who eat up my people as they eat bread: They have not called upon God. 5There were they in great fear, where no fear was: For God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: Thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them. 6Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.


There it was, laying in the floor. It was black and slithery but still. It was long too!

At first, I was paralyzed with fear.

Indiana Jones and I have a lot in common.

Let me give you the extensive list.

We both have hats.

We both have leather jackets.

We both have a bull whip.

We both have an intense fear of snakes.

Ok, I bought the bull whip to make me feel just a little bit more like Indiana Jones, leave me alone about it.

Back to my story. There I lay in my bed staring at that lone, black, slithery thing on my floor. I watched it, waiting. I was pondering how to get out of bed without startling it so that I could kill it.

I was also thinking about how to avoid its fangs in my flesh.

With just enough light to see the creature’s outline but not enough to discern what kind of serpent it was, I waited. Could it be venomous?

I glared at that creature for what seemed like hours.

We both lay completely still as light began to creep into the bedroom. At last, I was able to see clearly. I knew what kind of creature it was immediatly. My fear has led me to study my enemy so I know how the color, the shape of its head, the shape of its eyes, the markings on its back, tell you all you all you need to know about snakes.

Yep, I recognized this one.

As soon as I saw the buckle, I knew it was my belt that I must have dropped on the floor.

Can you believe that?

I lost all that sleep, endured all that worry, replayed all those scenarios of snake bites and death over a leather belt!

I had spent that night in fear where there was nothing to fear.

Psalm 53 is almost identical to Psalm 14. Spurgeon had this to say about the repetition.

All repetitions are not vain repetitions. We are slow to learn, and need line upon line[1]

When God repeats himself there is a reason. This Psalm must contain lessons we really need. It opens reminding us yet again that it is the fool who doesn’t believe in God. It is certainly foolish to leave the Lord out of your life, anyone who knows him will tell you from experience. That is a lesson we need to keep teaching and learning.

Psalm 53 does tell us something about the foolish man who doesn’t factor God into his thinking that Psalm 14 didn't.

Psalm 53:5 There were they in great fear, where no fear was: For God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: Thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.

Those that don’t have God in their thoughts tend to fear where there is nothing to fear. Perhaps a guilty conscience play a part in their constant worry, but I believe it is because they are just deprived of blessed hope you can only find in the Lord.

Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: But the righteous are bold as a lion.

Those without saving knowledge have an excuse for their fear, they don’t know my Jesus. Frankly, without the Lord one has reason to fear.

But What About Those Who Know Him?

I regret to say that I leave him out of my thought and let fear fill the empty slot. I worry and fret with great regret.

Am I alone?

More times than not, I feel so foolish because I was afraid when there was nothing to fear. Jesus had held me safe and secure all along.

I hope to encourage us all to retain the Almighty in our mind, the Faithful One in our thoughts so that we won’t live in fear where there is nothing to fear.

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 27-57 (Vol. 2, p. 433). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

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