Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high. (Quick Amplified Bible)
The Historians tell us or just confirm for us what the Bible has documented and that is that man has been on earth over 6,000 years. We have recorded in human history many wars. Since Adam’s fall, man has been at odds with himself, other men. The unholy desire in each of us to be superior to another produces this fear of one another. Our hearts (thoughts and feelings, the inner man) have been so corrupted by our fallen natures that we look at each other as possible enemies instead of equals and alleys.
In the scripture above, the English word snare is translated from the Hebrew word moqesh, which means a noose (for catching animals), (literally or figuratively); by implication a hook (for the nose)1; a trap. All men who fear other men for being different than they are fall instantly into one of Satan’s biggest traps and become a pawn to do his evil bidding throughout the earth. A trap is something designed to immobilize. When trappers go out into the woods or wilderness to trap animals, they are trying to capture these animals in order that they might control them and use them for some purpose. Every man that falls into this trap of fearing other men can never become what God intended for his life. This fear produces control by the enemy and as a result individual lives are ruined as well as communities and villages all over this world.
The news media (most, if not all, controlled by Satan) only exacerbates the problem. Day and night we here primarily negative news. Murders, rapes, assaults, armed robberies; these are the daily headlines that get the most media coverage. I’m not saying that these stories should not be reported but that a balance of man’s violence against each other and the benevolence of man to one another should be given great coverage. However, it is not the fault of the media, they are only giving people what they want to see and read. The public demand to see and read about the graphic horror crimes is produced by man’s fear of himself and continues to feed that monster until it has become uncontrollable.
Song of Solomon 3:8 They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night. (KJV)
Man was originally created to fear, revere, and worship God and not to be fearful of each other. I personally have stopped reading the newspaper. I will read it on some rare occasions. When I do read it, I do not focus on the negative articles alone, but in contrast those that are uplifting and positive.
Different Tribes not Racism is God's Plan
God is the Author of man's diversity of races. After the flood, the descendants of Noah produced in the whole earth people of one language and one speech. Remember there were but eight people left on the entire earth. We can conclude that the entire earth at that time had but one race. The people were moved with pride and selfish ambition away from God and therefore God confounded their language and scattered them throughout the earth. Here Satan began to draw the new generations of people away from God again by tempting them to build a huge city that would have undoubtedly become a place of idolatrous worship. This was the very reason God destroyed the inhabitants of the earth in the flood. The Lord wanted the entire earth to be populated and consequently by man inhabiting other parts of the earth the Lord changed the skin tones to acclimate the people to that part of the world.
Genesis 11:6-9 And the Lord said, Behold, they are one people and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do, and now nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confound (mix up, confuse) their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from that place upon the face of the whole earth, and they gave up building the city. Therefore the name of it was called Babel--because there the Lord confounded the language of all the earth; and from that place the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of the whole earth. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Satan immediately rushes in again and begins to pit the different races of people against one another. He interjects fear into the hearts of men because of their different language and skin tones. This produced what we know and understand to be racism. Racism is produced by fear. The definition of Racism is the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races. However, when you dig deeper into the mind of racist, you find that fear is at the underlying cause of their need or desire to feel superior. When a man hates another man solely because his skin color or speech is different than his, it is because of the ignorance in the man who is the racist. Man after the flood was not programmed by God to love and worship Him. The new generations of men were still plagued with inheriting the corrupt sinful nature from their parents. Many chose to continue to ignore the light given them by God (as did those before the flood) and perpetuated a deep seated fear of one another. Sin produces ignorance in men and ignorance produces more sin and a perpetual cycle of hate and fear result.
Ephesians 4:17-18 So this I say and solemnly testify in the name of the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and emptiness of their souls and the futility] of their minds. Their moral understanding is darkened and their reasoning is beclouded. They are alienated (estranged, self-banished) from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the ignorance (the want of knowledge and perception, the willful blindness) that is deep-seated in them, due to their hardness of heart [to the insensitiveness of their moral nature]. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Satan has been very successful in promoting fear for centuries in this manner. Wars have been fought because of racism and countless lives have been totally destroyed. Young children have been taught to hate each other and they have no idea why. I am not in this book attempting to break down racism in the world (that has been done in other books on that subject), but to show how it promotes and produces man’s fear of himself, that is other men.
There is racism, prejudices, and dissensions among men of the same races. For example in different islamic tribes people are killing each other. In Northern Ireland Catholics and Protestants are killing each other while at the same time claiming to love God. This only serves to testify how deep this fear is rooted in the hearts of men. Sadly those who profess Christ are not immune to this fear as illustrated by the Northern Ireland Catholic and Protestant conflict. Also Across America the most segregated day of the week is Sunday. Many people of all races work together Monday – Friday, however, many still choose to segregate themselves while worshiping God. Why has it happened in the past? Why is it still happening in the present? Fear I believe is a factor in the answer to these two questions.
The fear of Men in Authority
Shortly after Abraham (his name was still Abram at the time) heard God speaking to him and promising him many things that He (God) would give to him as an inheritance. Abraham made an alter to the Lord and worshipped the Lord. However, not long after, Abraham journeyed into Egypt. Now the Pharaoh at that time was notorious for taking beautiful women and making them one of his concubines. It did not matter if the women were married or not. Pharaoh was considered to be a god and would use violence to get whatever he wanted. Pharaoh would kill the husbands of the women. Now Abraham knowing this instructed his wife Sarah (her name was Sarai at the time) to do as follows:
Gen 12:12-13 So when the Egyptians see you, they will say, this is his wife; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say, I beg of you, that you are my sister, so that it may go well with me for your sake and my life will be spared because of you. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Now the Lord had just promised Abraham the following things:
Gen 12:2-3 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others]. And I will bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves]. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Fear of what a man in authority might do to him, suppressed or crowded out the promises that God has just given Abraham in his heart. Instead of trusting what God had said to him, he feared what a man in authority might do to him. Today many employees (Christians and Non-Christians) are fearful of what the man in authority (their Supervisor) over them might do to their job, if they don't agree to some unethical practice or procedure. Politicians fear the loss of financial backing, if they speak out condemning the greed and unethical business tactics of certain large and rich corporations. Witnesses to crimes are intimidated with the threat of bodily harm or even murder, if they testify against an accused criminal. Even today those of us who walk closely with God are not immune to the fear of what men in authority might do to us physically.
Abraham, as well as all of us today, should have determined in his heart/mind that no matter what happened that he was going to trust the Word of God and never fear any man with earthly authority. Abraham’s fear of Pharaoh was an act of carnality and not spirituality. What did God do? He struck Pharaoh and his entire household with a plague. If Abraham would have told the truth about Sarah being his wife, God would have used some other method to preserve his life. Fearing men of authority is a crippling plague in itself. It always leads to problems and loss.
Psalm118:6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (NKJV)
Isaiah 51:12 I, even I, am He Who comforts you. Who are you, that you should be afraid of man, who shall die, and of a son of man, who shall be made [as destructible] as grass. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Luke 12:4-5 I tell you, My friends, do not dread and be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom you should fear: fear Him Who, after killing, has power to hurl into hell (Gehenna); yes, I say to you, fear Him! (Quick Amplified Bible)
All men (even those with earthly authority) are but grass in the sight of God. When we fear men with but earthly authority, it only serves to promote the kingdom of darkness. Satan is the instigator of all men fearing one another in order that he might have his devious plans carried out on earth in a futile attempt to overthrow God. Satan is an idiot. He wants men to be idiots as well. Every time we fear men in authority we are promoting Satan’s work on the earth. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego (they were young Jewish teenagers or young men) were threatened by Nebuchadnezzer (an earthly King greatly feared by many) to worship some false idol god, they told him in plain terms that they would never bow down to some idol god. Even under the threat of death they stood their ground in the truth and for the truth. Fear of any man not matter if he is President or King is never an option for a true child of Almighty God.
Matthew Henry said these great words:
“We are encouraged to depend upon the power of God, which would keep us from all that fear of man which has either torment or temptation in it. Whoso puts his trust in the Lord, for protection and supply in the way of duty, shall be set on high, above the power of man and above the fear of that power. A holy confidence in God makes a man both great and easy, and enables him to look with a gracious contempt upon the most formidable designs of hell and earth against him. If God be my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid.”
We firmly recognize this behavior in the three Hebrew boys or young men with the King Nebuchadnezzer. I receive the Voice of the Martyr's Monthly magazine and there are countless stories of faithful and fearless Christian Pastor's and lay people who are tortured and murdered everyday all over this world for their love for the Lord Jesus Christ. They exemplify completely what Matthew Henry said in those great words above and they are the real heroes of the faith today. Many are not recognized by this world as being anything, but they have Heavenly treasures stored up for them with the Lord and He will dispense to each man and woman accordingly.
The Proper Fear of Men
Now after the death of Jehoshaphat’s father Asa, he reigned in Judah and the Lord was with him. Jehoshaphat’s heart took delight in the ways of the Lord. Jehoshaphat determined to be obedient to the Lord. Jehoshaphat commanded that the Book of the Law be taught throughout the land of Judah. The fear of the Lord fell upon all of the nations that surrounded Judah that none made war with Judah.
The Lord blessed Jehoshaphat with increasing power to the point where he built fortresses and storage cities in the land of Judah. Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance. Now Jehoshaphat agreed to go into battle with the King of Israel (Ahab) despite the warning given by the Prophet Micaiah that the Lord would not be with King Ahab in battle. The Lord was angry with King Ahab for his continual rebellion which included his Baal worship. King Ahab was a wicked King in the sight of the Lord.
Jehoshaphat should have listened to the Prophet and declined to go out with King Ahab. The Lord was not pleased that King Jehoshaphat helped the wicked King Ahab and sent the seer Jehu with this admonition “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?” Now despite this the Lord delivered King Jehoshaphat from the hands of the Syrians when he cried out to the Lord for help. The Lord preserved his life and he returned to Judah unharmed.
Psalm 145:20 The Lord preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked will He
Also King Jehoshaphat made many other reforms in the land and appointed judges and told them to let the fear of the Lord rule their decisions. He informed the people that they were not ruling for man but for God and that God wanted them to rule without partiality and to take no bribes. King Jehoshaphat told them to behave courageously and that the Lord would always be with the good.
Why then would a man walking so closely with the Lord, believing, trusting, and being blessed by the Lord to do and accomplish great things for the Lord have any reason to fear any number of men that might come against him? The King being very diligent to warn other men to not be afraid should have no fear himself. Well when the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir came to battle against the King, his fear was that normal fear that God has placed in all men as an emergency response to danger. Jehoshaphat's fear was not a result of a lack of faith, but a call to turn to the Lord his refuge, shield, rock, fortress, and strong tower in every adverse circumstance.
2 Chronicles 20:3 Then Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself [determinedly, as his vital need] to seek the Lord; he proclaimed a fast in all Judah. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Jehoshaphat new what needed to be done and his response was that normal God given fear that all men possess from the Lord. Jehoshaphat’s response was proper in the face of this threat, unlike his decision to go into war with King Ahab. Jehoshaphat this time set his face to seek help from the Lord and did not make any decisions until he heard from the Lord. He declared a fast and he prayed and the Lord answered him mightily.
2 Chronicles 20:15 “The Lord says this to you: Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.” (Quick Amplified Bible)
2 Chronicles 20:17 You shall not need to fight in this battle; take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord [Who is] with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Fear not nor be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Why fear? Fear of man for a Christian is not to ever be an issue. All of our battles are fought by the Lord. Will the Lord ever lose? Is there panic with the Lord?
Deuteronomy 11:25 There shall no man be able to stand before you; the Lord your God shall lay the fear and the dread of you upon all the land that you shall tread, as He has said to you. (Quick Amplified Bible)
A proper and well placed response to the fear of men that God has given each of us as His children is always required no matter the situation. When Satan (working through men) cause us to fear, we must just remember the awesome promises of God and stand on them as if our feet were anchored in cement or on a rock (that rock is Christ). Even the strongest Christian must exercise himself in this area. It will not come by wishful thinking, but true faith and trust in the Word of God.
Esther 9:1-2 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;) The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people. (KJV)
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published; coming soon)