Most Christians know the greatest commandment – love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7, Matthew 22:37). But what commandment do you think God commanded the most often? FEAR NOT. God commands His people to not be afraid more than anything else.
When the mighty Egyptian military pursued the recently freed Israelites and chased them to the banks of the Red Sea, the Lord instructed them through Moses, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today.” Exodus 14:13
Prior to the Israelites entering the Promised Land, having to conquer fortified and powerful cities, the Lord assured them, “You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you.” Deuteronomy 3:22
As King Saul hunted David, seeking to kill him, David declared confidently, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
Beloved brethren, of whom shall you be afraid??
The Western World is more hostile to the Christian faith than ever before. The Biblical world view is under attack, even within churches! Fewer the 10% of self-proclaiming Christians actually adhere to a Biblical worldview. That means that fewer than 10% believe in creation, the fall and original sin, that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, and in absolute truths such as what God declares is sin is always a sin. We are in the time of the great falling away, in which wide spread defection from worship of the true God has intensified.
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for That Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
Why is there such widespread worship of self – showing oneself that one is god, not worshipping the One True God? Why have so many Christians grown apostate and why do so many churches fail as being pillars of God’s Truth? Fear of man and lack of fear of God.
The Hebrew language has several words for the English word “fear”. For example, “fear” as in “fear of drowning” or “fear of flying” is “pachad”, which means “terror over one’s safety.” That type of fear isn’t necessarily a sinful fear. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for fear every time God says “do not fear” is “yirah”. “Yirah” is fear that is keeping you from doing the will of God. So when God says, “al-tirah” (“do not fear”) he is saying, “Do not let your fear stop you from walking according to my ways.”
We fear we will lose friends and family if we oppose socially accepted and celebrated sins such as sexual immorality and pride, so we say cowardly and unbiblical things like, “it’s not my place to judge.” That’s allowing fear of man stop you from doing the will of God.
We fear we will be ostracized by society if we don’t bow down to the ever-changing social justice causes, so we pervert God’s love and justice to conform to man’s ideology. That’s allowing fear of man stop you from walking according to God’s ways.
We believe the lies spouted out by the government instead of putting our trust in the Word of God. That’s allowing fear of man stop you from believing God.
We allow our worldview and our children’s worldview be shaped by the government run schools, wicked entertainment industry, and deceitful media rather than the truths taught in the Bible. That’s allowing fear of man stop you from obeying God.
Beloved brethren, of whom shall you be afraid? Fear God.
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
The fear of God is having awe and reverence towards the Holy God. (Psalm 33:8). Having the fear of God causes us to hate evil and keep His commands. (Proverbs 8:13, Job 28:28). The fear of God gives us confidence that we are secure in Him if we walk according to His ways. (Proverbs 14:27). The fear of God ensures us that we will not fear man. (Matthew 10:28).
An ancient Jewish tradition is to end every prayer with, “Adonia li, lo ira”. That translates to, “God is with me, I shall not fear. Whatever the Lords calls you to walk through, whatever persecution or suffering He allows, He promises He will be there with you through it all. You need not fear man if you fear God. Let us be a people who proclaim with confidence, “ADONAI LI, LO IRA!”
“The poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing”. Psalm 24:6-10