There we saw giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants) and we were like grasshoppers in our own site, and so we were in their sight.  Numbers 13:33

Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims?  Numbers 14:3

With men it was impossible; but not with God, for with God all things are possible.  Mark 10:27

Fear, probably one of the most paradoxical concepts that we will ever deal with.  Roosevelt, famously said that “All we have to fear is fear itself.”  Is it really as simple as that?  Doesn’t our culture exalt the person who is termed “fearless”?  Yet don’t we also have thrill seekers who are completely untrained, who leap into the habitats of wild animals and get mauled to death.  And much more common and tragic, are those who do not fear texting while driving and become involved in horrendous car accidents?

Fear!  Can it stand in our way?  Sure.  The Israelites had seen the plagues wrought on Egypt by God and they had been spared.  They watched as God destroyed the Egyptian Army.  They watched God provide for all their needs day and night in the wilderness.  And now on the brink of ending their epic sojourn and crossing into the promised land, and lest we forget the land promised was promised by God, they stop in their tracks.  Why?  A few men.  In their eyes the report of a few good men.  For the spies, Moses had commanded to go and look at the promised land and report back, gave a good report of the land.  It was indeed a land flowing with milk and honey.  And at first they were ready to go in and possess the land as God had intended.  Then came the but……. But there are strong men and strong cities their….Giants.  We can’t go in there because they will squash us.  Joshua, one of the spies tries to change their minds.  Yes, we saw mighty people but no people is mightier than God, He will give us this land.  Do not fear!  And as we know, they didn’t listen to Joshua.

So we see that fear can keep us from acting.  Yet there is a story in Samuel, where King Saul acts because of fear.  He was facing a great battle and Samuel was nowhere to be found.  Saul was not supposed to be the one to actually offer sacrifices to the Lord, but because he could not wait, Saul did so anyway.  Samuel does arrive and hears Saul’s explanation for disobeying God’s commandment.  He was more afraid of the immediate threat of the Philistine Army, than God’s commandment, so he acted.  As a consequence, Samuel advises that the kingship will be taken from him and given to another (that other was David).

So there you have it; to fear or not to fear, to act or not to act.  Should I feel no fear whatsoever or should I face each new thing with fear and trembling?  If we look to men/our society for the answer, we will find very numerous and very contradictory answers.  Yet when we look at the universal reference for answers; they are few and they are consistent.  Proverbs tells us that to fear the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.  Jesus tells us that with God all things are possible.

Okay, I can hear the big question out there:  If God is a loving God why should I fear him?  It is very hard (at least for me) to find words adequate enough to thorougly explain (and also please understand, I do not presume to say that my understanding is truly adequate).  But if you have ever found yourself in a situation where the circumstances were completely out of your ability to control (it could be a natural event like a hurricane or maybe even slowly riding up to the top of a crest of a tall roller coaster) and seeing or experiencing the power and awe of that circumstance is but a glimpse in the concept of the fear of the Lord.  I believe we have not the ability to accurately grasp the concept of God’s power; even His power of love.  God; through His Love has graciously decided to enter into a relationship with us.  But He does not just share a tiny portion with us that we can handle; He is in it 100 percent.  And that power, the wisdom, the omnipresence, that…….perfection, should instill great awe and yes fear in comparison.

So, each day we are faced with decisions.  Where are we to go?  In this or that circumstance, what are we to do?  In the words of a rock and roll tune:  “Should I stay or should I go!”.  And often enough, it is not that we don’t have the answers; it is that we have too many answers and they conflict.  The world will tell us you would be a fool to fill in the blank; take the job, not take the job, pack up and move, stay where you are, pass up this opportunity, marry that person, invest in, on and on and on.

Dear Heavenly Father, through Your Son Jesus Christ, we were told that should we ask it will be given to us.  We know that this world will give us conflicting answers, conflicting wisdom.  So we do ask that, when are faced with decisions, that You will impart Your wisdom, such that we can handle, to us.  In addition we ask, that once You have imparted that wisdom, that You will give us the courage to overcome our earthly fears, and carry out the plan, the Perfect Plan, you have in store for us.  That our appropriate fear of You, will lead us to obedience and through that obedience the abundant blessings You have laid up for us.  That Praises of You be ever on our lips we pray, in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Amen

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