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I Will Not Be Shaken

I Will Not Be Shaken

Some friends of mine and I have been memorizing Psalm 16. I’m not great at scripture memorization, but there are good tools out there to help, and we’ve shared different things that work for each of us. For me, I write the verses, and recite them over and over and over again. Maybe all those teachers who told me to just recite things over and over and over were right – because I’m retaining it.

This week, I’ve been particularly struck by Psalm 16:8, “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” For some reason, I’ve had that final part and Brian Johnson’s “We Will Not Be Shaken” song stuck in my head for days.

So I’ve been pondering, “What shakes us?” Loss. Sudden, tragic death. Unexpected changes. Sickness. Violence. Natural disasters. Politics. Mean words. Bullying. Bills piling up. Life changes. Accidents. Family dynamics. Other people’s choices. Our choices. All those things shake us.

“I will not be shaken.”

I must have missed something. I can recall seasons and moments where I felt like I was being shaken. Like where someone was treating me like those orange trees where they put a large band on the trunk of the tree and just shake out all the fruit. Minus the deliciousness at the end. Just a whole lot of upset stomach from all the shaking over here. Or even seasons where this boat called life is rocking so hard in the waves, your best bet is to just jump into the ocean. That kind of shaken.

However, the whole point of the verse is more than just, “I will not be shaken.” John 10:10 tells us that we will have troubles in this world, so my guess is that those troubles may come with a little (or a lot of) shaking. The whole verse in 16:8 is, “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (emphasis mine). It’s important that we see all the pieces.

  1. “I have set the LORD always before me.” That’s putting YHWH, I Am, the Lord of all creation, the King of Kings and LORD of Lords always before me. That’s bowing my knee in all circumstances, recognizing that the King and the Lord, El Shaddai, Jehovah-Jireh, is always before me. I want to lay my human- can’t- see- into- the- future- self down, and put my life in his hands.
  2. “Because he is at my right hand…” That “he” refers back to the LORD. And the right hand was the favored side; it was a place of honor and its blessing was irrevocable. It is seen as a place of salvation, refuge, and protection. The right side – literally and figuratively – is exactly where I want God to be for me and where I want to be with God. I want him close enough that I can touch him. And I want to experience all he has for me because he’s so close to me.
  3. “I will not be shaken.” The world gets shaken. As Christians, we have the hope that when the world shakes, we are intertwined with an unshakable God. I am not shaken, because he is not shaken. I will not be shaken, because he will not be shaken. To know that my life is so intertwined, hands clinched, arms locked onto the Rock of Ages that since he can’t shake, nor can I.

I hope your world does not ever shake. I hope you experience a life full of joy and no bad things happen to you or anyone you love. But we all know that is not realistic. Living on planet Earth and being born into sin comes with the probability that more likely than not, at some point, something hard will get thrown our way. Life is not all rainbows and unicorns. It is not all beach trips and sunny days. But we have this hope – the one that guarantees, like Psalm 16:8 says that with a God who is close by, we cannot be shaken.

David goes on in Psalm 16:9, “Therefore, my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.”

My flesh can dwell secure, I will not be shaken, because I have the God of the universe close enough to hold onto.

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