I shall not be shaken, because the God of Creation, who made me in his own image and likeness, who loves me as his child, walks always at my right side, ready to defend me and to strengthen me when I am threatened.
“I shall not be shaken.” This is the attitude of one who has great faith. Not just any faith, but faith in the One Lord, the God of all, before whom all of creation stands in awe and wonder. This statement of faith is reiterated in the New Testament when Paul writes in his Letter to the Romans: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) This boldly confident statement comes in the final section of Psalm 16, after a bold refutation of the futile worship of false gods.
The psalmist has recognized the siren call of worldly things, the temptations to place and “worship” other, lesser things, before God. He calls on God to keep him safe from these things. In the midst of the maelstrom of countless temptations he writes: “You are my Lord, you are my only good.” (verse 2) He also recognizes the consequences that come from worshipping false gods, because he has observed that those who place their trust in such false and ephemeral things find only the multiplication of their sorrows. (verse 4)
This psalm tells us that we who believe, must be awake and aware to the temptations of worldly pleasures. We must keep the Lord before our eyes and our intentions at all times. We must keep our focus on the only One who can offer us the refuge and the happiness we seek. The Lord is the only One who can fulfill our deepest longings for happiness, the only One who can answer our prayers. It is his name that we must keep on our lips and in our minds at all times.
When we, like the psalmist, keep the Lord before us at all times, we too will be able to boldly say, “I shall not be shaken.” I shall not be shaken, because the God of Creation, who made me in his own image and likeness, who loves me as his child, walks always at my right side, ready to defend me and to strengthen me when I am threatened. Because of this faith I am filled with peace and the joy that comes from knowing that God is God and there is no other.
Lord, keep us all safe from the temptations that rise up and try to draw us away from you every day. Let us take refuge in you alone, for you are the source of all that is good. We pray that you increase our faith in you so that we too can boldly say with the psalmist, “I will not be shaken.” We pray these things in your name, Jesus. Amen!
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