When fear comes and we’re afraid, we have to trust in the Lord.
Psalm 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
Fear: anxiety, worry, concern because of the presence of danger or uncertainty about our safety.
Babies are born with the fear of falling and of loud noises. There are also carnal fears that God didn’t give us and which will lead us to go against what God said to do. He tells us to trust him when we’re afraid.
II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
In the Amplified Bible (AMP): II Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].
When the 12 spies went over Jordan into Canaan (the promised land), 10 were afraid. They looked at the things they saw and didn’t believe God’s promises. Fear will plague our minds with things that are magnified or not real. Those 10 spies and all that believed their report wouldn’t believe God because of fear. They believed they were like grasshoppers against the giants of the land. Because of their unbelief, they had to wander in the wilderness 40 years until everyone 20 years and older died. Fear always exaggerates. There are many kinds of fear: of spiders, of flying, of needles, of heights, of being in small spaces (Claustrophobia). There’s a kind of fear God wants us to have. Adam was afraid when he disobeyed God.
Genesis 3:10-12 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
God wants us to have a fear for him that is reverence or respect to obey what he says to do.
Ecclesiastes 12:13…Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
There were 22,000 in Gideon’s army that feared the enemy and didn’t trust what God said. God told Gideon to send them home. Fear can be contagious to others that are around. God didn’t want the army to be afraid but to trust what he said.
Judges 7:1-3…Gideon, and all the people…with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were…by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return…And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.
God doesn’t want us to fear or run from the devil. We need God’s word to fight the devil. Reading scriptures or listening to hymns or gospel music helps us replace the fear and to have victory. Music affects our brain and can encourage us. When a multitude of the enemy came, Jehoshaphat feared but set himself to seek God. He called a fast of all the people, even children, because the enemy could have killed them all. Children need to know how to carry a burden when the enemy tries to bring fear or attack us. Jehoshaphat led in prayer to the God of heaven. He named reasons God is great. He didn’t focus on how big the enemy was. God is not a wimp but he created the universe and has power over everything!
II Chronicles 20:1-7 It came to pass…that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other…came against Jehoshaphat to battle…Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord…to seek the Lord. And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation…And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land…and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?
God promised to help us when we cry out to him if we’re faithfully serving him. Jehoshaphat reminded God how the Israelites spared the Ammonites and Moabites, but now they were trying to cast them out of the land. Joshua said they had no strength against the multitude of the enemy. Many times that’s how we feel when the enemy comes. The Spirit of the Lord came to Jahaziel and said to not be afraid because it wasn’t their battle but the Lord’s. Worry is not our battle, and Peter said to cast all our care on God (I Peter 5:7). We have to let God fight the battle.
II Chronicles 20:9-17 If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help. And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt…and destroyed them not; Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. Then upon Jahaziel…of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation; And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and…Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord…Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook…Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you…fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.
Jehoshaphat bowed his face to the ground and all the people fell down to worship. All the Levites of the Korhites praised God with a loud voice. The people believed the prophet and what God told him to tell them. The next day singers went before the army praising the Lord. God set ambushments against the enemy. All they did was sing and praise God, then God took care of the enemy. They wouldn’t have won the battle unless they believed the prophet.
II Chronicles 20:18-23 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and…Jerusalem fell before the Lord, worshipping the Lord. And the Levites…the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord…with a loud voice on high. And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And…he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir…and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and…made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
Sometimes God tells the prophet or pastor something we need to do. We may not understand it, but we’ll prosper if we obey. The Israelites took 3 days to gather all the spoil. They gained by trusting and believing God.
II Chronicles 20:24-25 And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies…and none escaped. And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil…they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)