Clay Center, Kansas – What happens when your life, your country . . . literally the whole world is gripped by fear? Disaster! But it does not have to be that way.
Once almost an entire nation was engulfed in fear that led to a near national collapse. Upwards of three million Hebrew people fled the land of Egypt in a massive and historic exodus. Their leader was Moses, who was led by the Lord God. The Hebrews were guided from Egypt toward a promised land God had waiting for them. As they approached, Moses sent out a team to survey the land. Over a month later, the team of 12 came back and gave a report to the nation. They all agreed on the facts of what they saw, but disagreed on the conclusions. They agreed it was a bountiful land that would be good for their people, but because it was occupied and would have to be taken by force, 10 of the 12 feared they would be defeated, while two of the 12 were confident they would be victorious. Consequently, the nation immediately sided with the 10 and fear spread to every family. Though the Lord God promised they would secure the land, the people refused to believe Him.
Fear paralyzed them. It also divided the nation, created anger toward its leadership and fostered rebellion and lawlessness to the point where people planned to kill the two who encouraged obedience toward God. But praise God for the two men, Caleb and Joshua, who courageously gave a good report to their Hebrew nation and remained firm in their conclusions. In the face of death threats, with the whole nation staring down on them they never buckled, saying, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” (Numbers 14:7-8)
Praise God for Moses. When God was angry at this fear-filled nation and had enough, Moses prayed, and because of his prayers God spared them.
Then in an interesting twist, when they learned how God’s judgment would be poured out on them for refusing to obey, they went up to take possession of their promised land, but did so out of fear. There was no faith in God or love for Him. They were godless zealots who were defeated because God was not with them.
And praise God for Jesus. When He suffered and died as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, He died for all our fears. And when He rose again from the dead, He conquered fear. And for all who turn from their sins and walk faithfully with Him, they are called overcomers by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
National fear almost collapsed the entire Hebrew nation. This is why fear is so dangerous. It is not just an emotion, but a violation of God’s holy law. Many times, God directly says, “Do. Not. Fear.”
Since March 2020 the headlines of the Covid 19 pandemic have been voiced by the 10. The data, story lines, projections, conclusions; all of it has been exempt of God and has inspired nothing but fear, creating a world filled with anger, division and rebellion. In fear people have flocked to get vaccinated. In fear people have risen up to protest getting vaccinated. In fear people have lashed out at government and health officials. In fear people have condemned the unvaccinated.
Though the voice of the 10 broadcasts fear across the globe, it does not get the final word. God does. Let us be wise and discerning and not fall for the emotional tricks that lead to fear. Let us be firm in our resolve to believe the Word of God no matter the odds, let it produce a spirit of optimism and hope. And instead of lashing out at our opponents, pray for them as Moses did.
A prayer for you - “Lord God, examine our hearts to see if fear is a controlling element in any of our decisions. Reveal if we are allowing fear to gain a foothold through things we are reading, watching or listening to. If fear has a home with us, we repent. We admit our sin and ask you to help us to turn from fear and completely trust in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Clint Decker is President of Great Awakenings. Hope for Today is a nationally syndicated column. Please share your comment or question with Clint at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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