Read Psalm 34:8
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! (NLT)
It was beside a duckpond. A group of ducks and their tiny ducklings were milling around the grassy edge. I was walking by and paused to look at them. In no time at all they scattered, loudly quacking their warnings to others. Stay away from this fearsome two-legged enemy who is out to harm us.
Of course I was going to do no such thing. Who, after all, would want to do harm to cute little ducklings. But the ducks didn’t know that and so off they went in fear of their lives. I, who only wished them well, was perceived as threatening harm.
Which brings us to our perception of God. The psalmist recognises him as good. Taste of him, don’t run away from him. But that is not always how we think and feel. God can be viewed as some fearsome figure who is out to jump on us because we get out of line. He is hiding behind the door with a baseball bat ready to clobber us because we sinned once too many times.
Like the ducks and ducklings, we run away from him figuring he might be out to do us harm. We confuse proper fear of him with being afraid of him. We figure that just because life can be a bit threatening at times that God is behind it all.
Our God is not out to do us harm. He is there for us when harm comes our way, reminding us of his greater power. He is there for us when we go astray, reminding us of the grace and mercy of Jesus. We have no need to run and hide in fear. We can confidently take refuge in him. He is not the enemy: he is the one who helps us face the enemy.