May 27, 2020
Good Morning Fellow Travelers,
Read: Mat 10:26-33
“My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luk 12:4-5 NKJV)
Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man bringeth a snare, but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” The fear of man is like a trap. We can be caught and imprisoned in it. We must beware of this trap.
What does the fear of man look like? We fear man when we fail to do what’s right because others might hurt us. Abraham bowed to the fear of man twice and caused his wife to suffer because of this fear. Read the story in Genesis 12:11-13 and 20:11-13. Abraham was a coward. Are you afraid to be hurt?
The fear of man is seen in our fear of exposure. We are afraid people will see us as we really are. What are you hiding? God’s question to Adam after the fall can often be asked of us: “Where are you? Why are you playing hide and seek with me?”
For too many Christians, every day is Halloween. Putting on our masks is as regular an activity as brushing our teeth or eating our Raisin Bran. But the masquerade is not festive; there is no party here. We are terrified that we will be exposed, and we fear disclosure. A prankster once called five men in his community and said, “They know what you have done. Better leave town immediately.” By evening four men had left town. Why do we fear men more than the gaze of God? Remember that all our coverings will be removed at the eternal unveiling (Luke 23:29-30).
In Jeremiah 17: 5-8 we find the mind of God about man trusting in man. We will be cursed if we “make flesh [our] arm.” The thought here is more of trust than fear, but the word “trust” is often the companion of fear throughout the scriptures. Instead of having the fear of man, we should have a fear of God, which is a reverent submission to Him that leads to obedience.
There are three good and needful antidotes to the fear of man. The first is a love for God in Christ. The second is a love and obedience for the Word. And the third is a love for all men. “Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man” Ecclesiastes 12:13.
~ James Baer