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“You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear nor be in dread of it.” (Isa 8:12)
For the people of Judah, fear of invasion was a constant threat. They had powerful enemies on their doorstep. Yet Isaiah said, “The LORD of Heaven’s Armies . . . is the one you should fear . . . He will keep you safe.” Fear is a powerful enemy of our faith and a strong deterrent to the believer’s peace of mind. Fear of war, terrorist attacks, disease, and pollution can rob us of our trust in God. God is our shelter and hiding place (Isa 4:6). Ask him to drive inappropriate fear from your heart and to help you fear only him.
“I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will point out to you whom you should fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority and power to hurl [you] into hell; yes, I say to you, [stand in great awe of God and] fear Him! (Luke 12:4-5)
As friends Jesus addresses His disciples, a title showing His love and trust in them, John 15:14. They should have no fear of those that can injure and destroy the body, if God should so permit. Only one fear can and should live in their hearts, a deep-seated fear, an awe and relevance which is not afraid of the punishment, but stands in holy dread of Him that judges and condemns both soul and body to everlasting destruction. For this is not a mere human tempter, who tries to harm his neighbour’s soul by leading him into sin, nor is it Satan, for he has no absolute power over body and soul.
It is the great God, the divine Judge, Himself. Fear of human enemies, of their contempt and of their injury, might imply lack of faith in Him, which may, in turn, lead to denial of our Lord. And again: Why fear? So little are sparrows valued by people that they were put up in packages of five or ten and sold on the market at the rate of less than a cent apiece; so insignificant is the loss of a single hair that it is not even noticed. And yet: Not a single one of these cheapest of birds is forgotten or neglected before God; all the hairs of our head are numbered by Him, and His accounts are always right. How foolish therefore is fear, since we have His assurance that we are preferred above many sparrows in His estimation.
Fear of opposition or ridicule can weaken our witness for Christ. Often we cling to peace and comfort, even at the cost of our walk with God. Jesus reminds us here that we should fear God who controls eternal, not merely temporal, consequences. Don’t allow fear of a person or group to keep you from standing up for Christ. “Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. Isa 8:13 The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.
Isaiah never ceased to urge that the true line of defence was to put away whatever was inconsistent with the fear of God. He would be the sanctuary of defence and hiding in the day of trouble, Isa 8:13-14. We learn from Heb 2:13, how absolutely, when speaking thus, the prophet was being prompted by the Holy Spirit. If men will not build on God’s foundation-stone, they fall over it to their hurt. Compare Isa 8:15 and Mat 21:44. Are we not all in danger of substituting human alliances for federation and union with the eternal God? Let our fellowship be with the Father and the Son; and let us wait for Him till the day dawn and the day star shines, 2 Pet 1:19.