Bread – Terror

February 24, 2017

Psalm 53

There they [the wicked] are, in great terror, where there is no terror!”  Ps. 53:5

I probably read this passage three times before I realized that there was a “no” in front of terror.  The Psalmist is telling the people who work evil that they are in “great terror,” even though there isn’t any.

Is terror real or is it a figment of our imagination?

I think the answer to that is “yes” (to both).  There can be a very real danger to our safety and security which causes us to be afraid and terrified (which is the real part), and we are terrified because …. (this is the imagination part).

Why are we terrified of anything?  I think it is because we have no control in the moment or perhaps our very existence is threatened or because we are confronted with the ugliness of our ourselves.  But we are terrified because the “I” is at extreme risk.  The danger may very well be real and we may die from the encounter or be seriously hurt, but we are afraid only because we hate losing, we hate being hurt, we hate the thought of dying, we hate the thought of homelessness or misery or becoming penniless.  We are terrified because the “I” is at risk.

Yes, the evil ones, the doers of iniquity and wickedness – yes, these folks are terrified of God’s judgment on their lives, because they know that God’s judgment will destroy the “I.”  “I did I my way” will one day run into the wall of judgment, and the “I” will in fact be gone, dead to sin.

But God says in this simple line, but they should not be terrified because there is no terror.

Why is there no terror, according to God.  The answer is simple and profound.  There is no terror for those who believe in Christ because Christ took that terror, that wrath of God, upon Himself.  He invites those of us who abide with Him into a place of shelter.  Though we may be seriously injured, though we made be made poor, though we may in fact die a physical death, we have no terror because there is none to be had.  We live in Christ and Christ in us.  There is no “I” to destroy and therefore there is no need to be afraid.

“Though I walk in the shadow of death, I will fear no …”  How can we say this and mean it?  Because the same God which causes terror in the wicked because of who they are has forgiven us because of who He is.

To those who do not believe in Christ, there are many terrors.  For those who do believe in Christ, there are none.

Now, let’s live like it – in boldness, in freedom, in obedience, in the name and power of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!


© 2017 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.









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