Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Angel-Talk: Fear Not


"What about fear not? Isn't that what angels are supposed to say?" 

That's a line from one of my work-in-progress novels, and the answer to the second question is yes. Angels are messengers from God and they almost always begin by saying, "Fear not." That's because God is constantly saying, "Fear not," to us. 

Today, my morning reading was from Deuteronomy 1-3. The three chapters are the beginning of the sermon Moses preached the children of Israel before he handed over leadership to Joshua. As I read, I realized God had been telling them the same message ever since they left Egypt. It's the same message he tells all of us, sometimes on a daily basis.

Fear not.

When, at the beginning of their journey to the Promised Land, God made a way through the Red Sea, the people stood at the edge of the water and hesitated. They were afraid. Could they trust this God they served? They weren't sure.

Moses told the people, 

"Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent."  
Exodus 14:13-14 nasb

At the end of their journey, when they were about to enter the Promised Land, the people were still afraid. Their enemies were big and powerful. The battle ahead was too much for them. They were still asking if they could trust this God they served. They still weren't sure.

Moses told them (concerning the inhabitants of the land),

"Do not fear them, for the Lord your God is the one fighting for you." 
Deuteronomy 3:22 nasb

The Hebrews started the journey as newly-freed slaves with nothing. They ended the journey as free people with great wealth, many treasures, and abundant livestock. 

From beginning to end, God told them not to be afraid, just as He does us.

We are to choose faith, not fear, because we serve a God who can be trusted.

Sometimes, the path God chooses for us is hard. The children of Israel traveled through wilderness and desert. Sometimes, they had to fight real battles with real enemies. It was difficult. They didn't have the food they preferred. There were no markets or grocery stores. They ate what God provided and wore the same clothes and shoes for forty years. 

It wasn't a pleasant path, but it was a blessed path, for God was with them and there was no need to fear. 

God fought for them, even before they knew there was a fight to be fought, and He does the same for us.

When we journey through a hard patch of life, which we all will do, there are two words we need to remember. 

Fear not. 

God is with us. He is fighting for us. He does the hardest part of the work. He will bring us through this journey of life to the destination He has promised. 

Our job is simple. Choose faith, not fear, and keep walking.

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