“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32).
Fear! What is fear?
According to Webster’s New World Dictionary fear is 1. A feeling of anxiety and agitation caused by the presence or nearness of danger, evil, pain, etc. and timidity; dread; terror; fright; apprehension. 2. Respectful dread; awe; reverence. 3. A feeling of uneasiness; disquiet; anxiety; concern. In other words, 1. To be afraid of; dread. 2. To feel reverence or awe for. 3. To export with misgiving.
If we look at today’s economic situation that prevails in most of our western nations, it is easy to understand why people are concerned for their immediate future. Job security is scarce, finances are dwindling in a lot of cases, retirement funds are being compromised, and in some cases homes are being lost because of these situations. Yes, people fear for their well being so I think that this fear or anxiety is fear number three, as per Webster’s. In Luke 12:6,7 we read as follows, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? When someone makes light of Mohammed half the world is in an uproar, yet when Jesus is depicted as a hippie and a whore monger in some of Hollywood’s movies, it is called entertainment.
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Let’s also look at verses 27 through 31 of the same chapter. “Consider the lilies how they grow. They toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you that Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after; and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
So, in essence Jesus is telling us in these verses to get our priorities straight, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (v34). But this fear is not a fear unto death, but a concern about an uncertainty, an apprehension about future things, that even though we know that the Lord will provide all things, we in our finite mind cannot see and be certain of the things in the immediate future. Hence the fear and or dread of the unknown! But life goes on, and we keep plugging along, in the hope that sooner or later things will turn out for the better.
The second definition of fear according to Webster is “Fear, awe, reverence; such as fear of God. This does not mean we are to be afraid of God, but to revere Him, to pay Him honour. In other words we are to be in awe of God simply because He is the only true God. The creator of Heaven and Earth and all that is therein, including us. The best definition of the fear of the Lord in my estimation is found in the Books of Psalms and Proverbs and in a lot of instances it shows that fearing the Lord has profound benefits. So let us look at a few passages of scripture to that effect. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”(Prov. 1:7). “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance, and the evil way, and the perverse mouth.” (Prov. 8:13). “The fear is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Prov. 9:10). “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of Life, to depart from the snares of death.” (Prov. 14:27).
Thus according to Solomon, through the fear of the Lord we gain wisdom, knowledge and long life and we learn to hate evil and arrogance! Let’s also see what David had to say in the Psalms, “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”(Ps. 19:9,10). “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.”(Ps. 33:8). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A good understanding have all they that do his commandments; his praise endureth forever.” (Ps. 111:10). I could go on and on but these few verses will suffice to show that to fear the Lord is a good thing, a very good thing and way of life.
Thus this brings me to the first definition of fear according to Webster’s Dictionary, which is a fear unto death, evil, terror, danger. This fear I want to pay particular attention to, because this fear will often lead unto sin, namely the sin of denial and omission. In today’s politically correct society we in general remain silent, even though a lot of today’s principles are in direct contrast to the Biblical principles we profess to hold dear. We are afraid to be called out for standing on Biblical truths and ideas. In today’s humanistic and secular society for example, even our Christian holidays are so secularized that all aspects of religion have mostly disappeared. Christmas is now called X-mas, Christmas carols are not allowed in public, the nativity scene is not allowed to be shown in public places, yet the Muslim Holy Days such as Ramadan and the like are honoured by all, even our own politicians. The same goes for the Jewish holidays such as Hanukah, in which the Menorah is displayed for all to see, and no one makes any objection to this display, not even the Christian community. This is a sin of denial; we won’t take a stand for the Holy name of Jesus. “But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.” (Lk. 12:9).
When someone makes light of Mohammed half the world is in an uproar, yet when Jesus is depicted as a hippie and a whore monger in some of Hollywood’s movies, it is called entertainment. When His image is spit upon and urinated upon it is called art. And again most of Christianity is silent, and pretend that it didn’t happen. “Whosoever, therefore, shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father, with the holy angels.” (Mk. 8:38).
Whether it is the spoken word or whether it is the written word, why are we so afraid to stand up for what the Bible teaches us? If we would just trust and stand on God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will guide and lead and protect us from all evil that lurks in the world. Jesus told us in Mt. 10:34, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth, I came not to send peace, but a sword.” And in Eph. 6:17 Paul said “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” And also Heb. 4:12, “For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”.
So, you see brothers and sisters, we do have the tools and the wherewithal to stand firm in our beliefs and to fight and correct those things which were wrongly brought upon us. It is our Christian duty. We cannot and must not fail the commandment of our Lord to occupy till He comes. And once we start to occupy again we will be able to take charge of all things wrong and perverse and make this world a place fit for God’s Kingdom on Earth.