The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. (Psalm 34:7)
Our loving Lord gives us a wonderful promise in today’s passage of Scripture, but it comes with a condition. God has placed His “holy hedge” around all those who fear Him. This fear of the Lord is not something that drives us into a small, dark corner, cowering miserably because we are afraid of God; that is the fear Adam and Eve felt as they hid from God, shivering in the flimsy fig leaves of their own self-righteousness, after their terrible act of cosmic treason. No, the fear you and I should have for God is a holy reverence and awe for the awesomeness of our God because we love, respect, and honor Him.
The word encamps used in Psalm 34:7 reminds us of the wilderness wanderings the people of God experienced for forty years after having been freed from their bondage in Egypt. Because of their unbelief and disobedience, God gave them forty years to think about their rebellion. But in all that time, He never abandoned them. He encamped around them and protected them from everything that would come against them. Even in their faithlessness, they still feared God, and He was faithful to ultimately deliver them into the Promised Land.
Do you fear God? Do you love and respect Him? Do you esteem Him above all else? Then you can claim this promise today, that God will deliver you from anything comes against you. You have the promise of God’s protection, God’s deliverance, His love, His favor, and His mercy.
Now, we must be careful not to assume something that is not promised. We are not promised a trouble-free existence. The promise is that God will encamp around you and ultimately bring you to the other side of every storm that comes against you . . . if not in this life, then certainly in the next, where you will reach your own Promised Land, a place where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).
David wrote in the fourth verse of Psalm 34, “I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” God not only hears your cries, He has promised to answer them and replace your every fear with faith. All you need to do is seek Him out.
So . . . are you living your life in the fear of God, knowing that He has encamped around you and established His holy hedge of safety? I know that there are times when we feel alone when the waves of challenge are crashing down upon us. At those times, we must remember what Jesus said to His disciples just before His Ascension into heaven: “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). You are not alone. Jesus is with you every step of the way — He is encamped around you — even when your way is long and winding and filled with difficulties. You have His Word on it!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!