Neither Be Dismayed
And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
~ Deuteronomy 31:8
The King James Bible can be hard to read, sometimes. But on the plus side, there are times when it puts things in a way that is so powerful and poetic that modern language translations cannot quite capture the same majesty of a passage. And this is one of them.
First off, “the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee.” There is something always “going before” every person. Not necessarily literally, but in a poetic sense, because whatever you do, part of it has already been determined by who you are. If you are afraid of crowds and about to walk onto a proscenium to give a speech, your fear precedes you. It is as if it is already standing on the stage, waiting for you.
But if we have God on our side, what always goes before us?
“The Lord, he it is.” Not our fears, not our foibles, not our shortcomings. What is already there waiting for us is the greatest power in the universe, and He loves us! If we go to face someone or something that might harm us, the Lord God Himself is already there with His mighty hand ready to wrap around us in absolute security.
Having been reborn in Christ, we know that it will be the Lord, in the person of the Holy Spirit, who will go before us. He is the ultimate insurance policy; because no matter what happens, we are to be saved. Christ has proven beyond any doubt that He has complete power over death, which means, that even if the very worst might happen to us and our bodies are killed, the Lord will go before us with a guarantee of life; He will exercise even His power over death.
In fact, He has already done it. Not even a sparrow can fall to the ground without God knowing about it. (Matthew 10:29) He knows every hair on your head. Do you think He is not watching, in loving care, when you face any danger? So fear not. And furthermore, “neither be dismayed.” The first line tells us not to be afraid. The second, that we should not be cowed; we should not let anything in the world keep us from doing what we want to do, if it is the right thing to do. God will not fail us.
Lord God, let me always be bold in righteousness, knowing one-hundred percent that you are with me. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer