The phrase `Do not be afraid’ is recorded in the Bible more than 80 times. No doubt, even today Jesus is convincing each believer with this phrase. The author of the book of Hebrews reassures us of the promises of God saying that He will not forsake us but encourages us to say the following verse,
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” – Hebrews 13:6
These are the wordings of the Psalmist spoken with personal experience and utter confidence. (Psalms 118: 6-7) The psalmist could apply this in his life as he had chosen the shelter of the Most High as his dwelling place. (Psalms 91:1)
Whom do we Fear?
Often mankind is unable to apply this and fails to speak the truth. Most of the time we are unable to take decisions according to the will of God. We try to please people and not God. That is why God asks ‘whom do we fear?’
“Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have not been true to me, and have neither remembered me nor taken this to heart? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me?” – Isaiah 57:11
Because of the repeated disobedience of mankind, God intervenes with great burden. ‘To Err is human’ is a famous saying. The world has got an excuse for everything but God assures His enormous presence and encourages us to be bold enough to speak the truth. But we take lies as our shelter in order to protect ourselves, because we do not realize the presence of God is with us. God reminds us of our fear in this juncture. “Whom have you so dreaded and feared ….?” The answer is Satan and our fake image.
Do not Conform to this World
Unknowingly we become victim of Satan’s strategies. We love to embrace our fake image. A person who is conscious of his status tells lies either way. If he is poor he wants to show himself as rich and if he is rich, he does not want to show his richness. When God reveals a plan for ourselves or for our family members, which is not in line with the tradition of the society, we lie in order to keep pace with the society. We want to be righteous in the sight of people and not in the sight of God. Noah was able to take part in God’s plan as he was not afraid of his contemporaries.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
Unknowingly we made lies as our refuge. God explains our pathetic situation in the following verse.
“Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have an agreement, when the overwhelming whip passes through it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have taken shelter” – Isaiah 28: 15
God, who had sent His son to give us life, tells us that mankind has made a covenant with death. Keeping this truth in our mind, we must be careful to speak the truth.
“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” – Matthew 5:37
Conventionally fastening our sins
As mankind is not aware of these consequences, they keep on speaking lies. God teaches us not to sit in the seat of scoffers.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers – Psalm 1:1
And God reveals one more trait of mankind which is fastening the sins of mankind.
“Now therefore do not scoff, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard a decree of destruction from the Lord GOD of hosts against the whole land.” -Isaiah 28:22
God’s wrath is coming upon the land. Framing false allegations and gatherings of scoffers are dominating our society. Unknowingly mankind is fastening their sins and volunteering for God’s wrath.
Truth as Refuge
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” – Psalm 91:1-2
Privileges of taking God as our refuge is enumerated in the whole psalm one by one. This psalm speaks about the privileges of those who come under His wings. Whatever may happen around, they will only see it. They obtain the boldness to trample every stronghold under their foot.
A Different Dimension
“What can mere mortals do to me?” For protection from evildoers, mankind referred to this as a threatening challenge. When God is with us as a helper, who can come against us. But this approach will have a sea change when we take God as our refuge in true spirit. Saying, “God is my helper” conveys that as God is with us, His love is going to overwhelm our enemies and we have nothing to fear. We as humans are unable to love treacherous people but now we have an assurance that God who is with us and who is our helper will definitely help us love them. In turn, through God we are able to love them. Love does no harm, neither can we harm them nor can they harm us. May His love help us to understand the Living Word in the right perspective and fear God.