“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25
Over forty million people in the United States live in what they consider to be a state of constant fear. One million of them live in such fear that they will not leave their homes. Doctors have now named fears such as “ablutohobia” – the fear of bathing, “cacophobia” – the fear of ugliness, “cibophobia” – the fear of food (I have never had this fear!), and “dentophobia” – the fear of dentists. Ours has become a culture of fear and those who feed on it.
God never intended for man to live this way. The first fear was introduced in the world as a result of man’s sin. Christ alone is the end to a life of fear. In John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” Mr. Fearing found no peace until he saw the cross. The Lord Jesus came to “deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:15). God does not want us to live and die in the bondage of fear.
Much of life is spent learning what to fear and what not to fear. The number one fear most people identify is their fear of people. We are all far too concerned with what others think and say. This is a snare of the devil. Caught in this trap, men do things they normally would not do and fail to do what they should.
David knew what it was to run for his life. Even after becoming King of Israel he continued to face enemies. But in Psalm 27:1 he declares, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Faith in God alone releases us from the fear of man.
Over two hundred times in Scripture we are reminded of the fear of the Lord. Only the fear of God casts out lesser fears. Oswald Chambers wisely said, “As soon as God becomes real, other people become shadows.” The Lord intends us to be free…free to please Him alone. This is the life of peace and quiet confidence in God. “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:6).