Fear not is a commandment of God. Fear is anxiety because of the presence of danger or of something about to happen.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
This verse gives us two commands to obey:
- Do not fear
- Do not be dismayed
And two reasons to obey:
- For I am with you
- For I am your God
We see three promises that God will keep:
- I will strengthen you
- I will help you
- I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
He tells us what not to do – don’t fear or be dismayed. Then He tells us why – because He is with us and because He is our God. And then He tells us three things He will do – God will strengthen, help, and uphold us. So, because God is here, we will have no fear.
- I will not live in fear because He is here!
- I will not be dismayed because He is my God.
- I will lean on God to strengthen me.
- I will trust God to help me.
- I will believe that God will uphold me.
- God is with you
- He is your God
- He will strengthen you
- He will help you
- He will uphold you
God is over you, by you, inside you, and underneath you.
- I am your God – over you.
- I am with you – by your side.
- I will strengthen you – from inside of you.
- I will help you – all around you.
- I will uphold you – from underneath you.
Historians say the society we live in is a society of anxiety. After anxiety come worry and fear. If we are in a dark cave and one leading us has a light, we can go through it and don’t have to fear. Going through life with God, we have to believe his promises or we’ll fear, worry, and be troubled. Panic is a friend of fear. We choose every day if we will not live in fear, not be dismayed, lean on God, trust God, and believe he’ll uphold us. “Let not your heart be troubled…” John 14:1
God said if the Israelites would forsake their false gods (Balaam the male and Ashtaroth the female fertility gods of many impure sexual acts), he would deliver them. The Philistine army came and the Israelites feared when they saw them.
I Samuel 7:3-13 And Samuel spake…If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the Lord only. And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh…and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the Lord…And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh…went up against Israel. And when…Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. And…said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that he will save us…Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering…and the Lord heard him. And as Samuel was offering…the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the Lord thundered with a great thunder…and they were smitten before Israel. And the men of Israel…pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar. Then Samuel took a stone, and set it…called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. So the Philistines…came no more into the coast of Israel…Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
When someone is in a hard trial, they depend on us to pray if they know we have a connection with God. The Israelites gathering attracted the Philistines to come with a big army so the Israelites were afraid. They asked Samuel to pray when they couldn’t pray and depended on his prayer. Josephus said the Philistines’ courage was transferred to the Israelites.
“So Samuel gathered them together to…Mizpeh, which, in the Hebrew tongue, signifies a watch-tower; there they…betook themselves to their prayers. This their assembly did not escape the notice of the Philistines…they fell upon the Hebrews with a great army…hoping to assault them when they did not expect it, nor were prepared…This thing affrighted…and put them into disorder and terror; so…running to Samuel, and said that their souls were sunk by their fears…Now while thou hast brought us hither to offer up our prayers and sacrifices, and take oaths [to be obedient], our enemies are making an expedition against us, while we are naked and unarmed; wherefore we have no other hope of deliverance but…by the assistance God shall afford us upon thy prayers to him, we shall obtain deliverance from the Philistines.” Hereupon Samuel bade them be of good cheer, and promised…God would assist them; and taking a sucking lamb, he sacrificed it…besought God to hold his protecting hand over them…God hearkened to his prayers…granted them victory and power over their enemies. Now while the altar had the sacrifice…the enemy’s army marched out of their camp…in hope that they should be conquerors, since the Jews…neither having their weapons with them, nor being assembled…to fight. But…God disturbed their enemies with an earthquake, and moved the ground…made some…fall down, and by opening its chasms…others should be hurried down into them; after which he caused such a noise of thunder…made fiery lightning shine so terribly round about…ready to burn their faces; and he so suddenly shook their weapons out of their hands…made them fly…home naked. Samuel with the multitude pursued them to Bethcar…set up a stone as a boundary of their victory…called it the Stone of Power, as a signal of that power God had given them against their enemies. So the Philistines…made no more expeditions against the Israelites…courage the Philistines had formerly against the Hebrews, that, after this victory, was transferred to the Hebrews.”
God is faithful to fight our battles as he sees best. God never fails so we don’t have to fear. If we have fear and act on it, we’re trusting in ourselves. It’s by faith we trust if fear comes. If we carry our cares, we aren’t giving them to God so we’ll have fear. We have to cast all our cares on God. The devil uses troubles, cares, and imaginations to discourage us. If God feeds birds, we’re better than birds. We don’t know what’ll happen tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, God will help if we trust him.
Matthew 6:25-34…Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air…sow not…nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?…Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin…Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like…these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass…shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or… drink? Or…be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought…the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Because people worshipped idols, God said he’d send faintness to their hearts so they had no power against their enemies.
Leviticus 26:36-37…I will send a faintness into their hearts…sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them…shall flee, as fleeing from a sword…when none pursueth…and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
It’s important to obey God by not fearing. When trials are like deep water or like going through fire, God wants us to trust and not fear. It’s important to pray and read our Bible in the morning to have help in the day, and at night so we sleep well.
Isaiah 43:1-5…thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob…that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee…when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned…For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom…Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee…
The people at Ziklag blamed David and wanted to stone him. David was distressed but he encouraged himself in the promises of God. (Psalm 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.)
I Samuel 30:6-10 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved…for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord…David enquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and…recover all. So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor …David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind…so faint that they could not go over…
The Amalekites was left behind a sick Egyptian servant who showed David where they went. God helped David recover all. When things look impossible, God will work everything out if we trust in him and his promises. Fear may come, but we can still trust God. It’s a choice we make to not fear, worry, or be anxious. We trust God by faith not by our feelings.
Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)