“Do not be afraid.”
That phrase appears 74 times in the NIV translation of the Bible. It’s one of the most common phrases in the entire Bible. But even more common than being told to not be afraid, the Bible tells us no fewer than 85 times that we should fear God, his Word, his actions, and his judgement.
God knew that we humans would struggle with fear. That’s why he told us so many times not to fear. But at the same time, there are things God wants us to fear.
Tim Archer shared with me a great illustration of fear. Every day we sit in rooms filled with electrical wiring, and devices. We even carry some of them around in our pockets. We have no fear of this. And yet at the same time we aren’t afraid of our environment or devices, we aren’t willing to stick a screwdriver into an electrical socket. We don’t live in fear of electricity, but we do realize there is a dangerous side.
We understand this when it comes to electricity, but often we don’t act in similar ways when it comes to other issues. We tend to live in the extremes when it comes to fear; either we fear everything, or fear nothing. Neither of these is what God wants.
Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes. – Ecclesiastes 7:18 NIV
On Sunday in the auditorium Bible class, we will begin a study on fear. What does Scripture say about fear, why did God create fear, and how are we to live as followers of Christ?
These lessons will be recorded for later access. You can also join us in person, or via livestream. Until then, I leave you with the words of Moses to God’s people reminding them of how they are to live.
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? – Deuteronomy 10:12–13 NIV