Friday, October 14, 2005

The Snare of Fear

The Bible only mentions the phrase "the fear of man" one time. (There are 30 mentions of "fear of the Lord".) I think God might be telling us that it's much better to focus on the fear of God rather than the fear of man! (More on that later.) Proverbs 19:25 says, "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe."

This covers much more than the horror-type fear. All fear of man is a snare. A snare is, *"An instrument for catching animals, particularly fowls, by the leg. It consists of a cord or string with slip-knots, in which the leg is entangled." an animal is just going along, doing its own thing and suddenly it can't go any farther. This is what fear of man does to us. We cannot go farther for the Lord when we fear man, or possess his fear.

In our thinking, the fear of man plagues us (especially us females!) through worry. Anxious thought robs us of God's peace. Phil. 4:6, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." I get the distinct impression that every time I worry about something I am disobeying this command. Worry takes place in the absence of faith, and without faith, we will never fulfill our eternal purpose. Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Can you imagine when we get to Heaven and see all that God wanted us to accomplish for Him, and we didn't do it because we were worried that God would not provide? We will be looking right in His face that day. He will wipe away our tears, but there will be tears!

The fear of man is inevitable. Proverbs 10:24 says, "The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him..." The people of this world fear real things. Ecc. 9:11b, "time and chance happeneth to them all." Sometimes they happen to all of us, and this fear can ensnare us as well. Do not let worldly thinking cloud your judgment and be a snare to your witness and the job God gave you to do. Let them worry about things they cannot change. God gave us a better way than ungodly fear!

*Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of American English

Next is, "What is the Fear of God?"

No comments: