We discussed in the last post that we should fear God. Today, we learn that:
#2 We should fear nothing else.
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
God doesn’t use reluctant warriors. In fact, as part of the principles of Jewish warfare, God set down this question that is to be asked of those fighting:
“The officers shall speak further to the people, and say, ‘What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart.’
So the untrusting, fearful person was to be winnowed out from the midst of the army. Of course warriors fear, you say. Who wouldn’t? Well, this command comes just after this statement in Deuteronomy 20:1-4
1 “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. 2 So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. 3 And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; 4 for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’
The Jews were typically outnumbered. That is what made their military victories so notable. Many military historians are shocked at the prowess of their military knowledge. I know it is the prowess of their redeeming God.
As Christians, we WILL usually be outnumbered.
He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me,For there were many against me.
About those who warred against Jesus, it says:
For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree.
Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!
About those who came up against the Apostle Paul:
When he had come, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood about and laid many serious complaints against Paul, which they could not prove,
Why does God not allow us to be in the majority against evil men? I think the answer lies in Gideon’s battle, where God says:
And the LORD said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’
Christianity is not for the faint of heart. Our redeeming God wants to make it very evident to us that:
I believe it takes more strength to be a Christian than to go one’s own way. In Him, I know that when I am outnumbered that He will make my feet walk on sure paths. In Him, I know that He will always uphold me. In Him is my protection.
I think the Psalmist best says it in Chapter 91
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
I love the idea of nestling under the wing of my loving Father! God is more than sufficient to handle my fears. Whether it is fears at night or fears of the potential for bird flu. I am to focus on today and allow God to handle tomorrow. (Do not misunderstand me, if there is something I can do to help protect myself tomorrow, I should do it, but once I have done all I can, it is truly in God’s hands.)
God is my safety. In Him, I know no fear. He is the refuge and safety and as I remain in Him, I will bear much fruit.
Corrie ten Boom said:
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”
Have strength in Him. Have you spent time in His word today?
Lord, guide and lead us. Help us to give our fears to you. As we see uncertainty around and wonder if the earth will end tomorrow, remind us that You are the God of all of our tomorrows for eternity, if we trust in You. Teach us calm assurance and steadfast faith. Forgive our reluctance as warriors and let us recommit to put our trust in You. In Jesus name. Amen.