David was an expert on fear. That’s not a badge I ever want to wear, but we can learn a lot from a man who has earned his. His psalms reflect a life plagued with pursuit and hiding, but also protection and provision. While hiding in the crags of rocks and crying out to God to end his enemy’s pursuit, he shares with us a beautiful picture of his trust in the LORD. When faced with calamity, fear is our body’s default emotion. We’ve all heard of the body’s “fight or flight” response, but when an extreme immediate response is not required, our body’s reaction to calamity is oftentimes what we could call the antiheroic “worry and doubt” response. Fear comes naturally, but doesn’t have to overcome us.
The wise Proverb 3:5 instructs us to trust in the LORD with all of our heart and not to lean on our own understanding. But how do we apply this to fear? Our own human understanding of a situation would tell us to fear, yet if we are trusting God with our whole heart, there is no more room for fear to reside. So then, fear must leave and be replaced by God’s assurance and peace. The rest of the proverb tells us to acknowledge God in all our ways and he will make our path straight. Sure, we may feel fearful as our body receives information and sorts it into good and bad, but as believers, we have the privilege of being lifted out of the chains that fear locks around our body, mind, and heart. There is peace and assurance in a path that is straight and well marked. Even when we can’t see all the steps to the path, we can follow our God who knows the path. David knew this and trusted God because he understood God’s love for him. In psalm 17:6 David says with assurance, “I call on you my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.” He proclaimed in psalm 17 verse 7 that God saves those who take refuge in God, and in verse 8 David gave us a beautiful picture of God’s love and protection. “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (psalm 17:8).
Do you think of yourself as the apple of God’s eye? David was and so are you and I. What a sweet picture of God’s love, but also one of God’s fierce protection of his people. We use the familiar idiom in today’s language often to describe a favorite, but the idiom is also used in the Hebrew language and holds further rich description.
The Hebrew idiom translates literally as “the little man of the eye,” and points anatomically to the of the pupil of the eye. If you were to look into the pupil someone’s eye, you would see the shape of yourself, a “little man” in the dark pupil. Look into your own eye with a mirror in good lighting and you will see your image staring back at yourself. More importantly, the pupil is responsible for vision and has to be carefully protected. God tells of his people in Zechariah 2:8, “…whoever touches you, touches the apple of my eye.” Moses proclaimed of God’s chosen people in Deuteronomy 32:10, “He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye.” Continue reading “The apple of His eye”