FEAR THOU NOT
Anita Clark – PastorGrace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas
“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.’ Isaiah 41;10.
Fear is an natural emotion for the human race. The word ‘fear’ means “a state of alarm caused by exposure to danger, to feel anxiety, apprehension, dread, terror or horror, panic, or fright.” The phrase, “Fear thou not” is not a suggestion, but a divine command from God. In Luke 21:26 says, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” As the end of all things approaches, much fear comes into the hearts of human beings.
In the Old Testament alone the word “fear” is spoken of 307 times. There are several Hebrew words for the word “fear” in the Old Testament. There is the word “pakh-ad”, which means a sudden alarm, dreadful fear, to be reverent.” The Hebrew word “yaw-ray” means “to fear, morally to revere, to be in reverence.”
In Exodus 14:8-13, Moses said, unto the people. “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show today.” This was spoken to the Israelites who were fleeing Egypt with Pharaoh’s army following fast behind them ready to annihilate them. In circumstances where any child of God is being tried, where there seems to be no way out and no help, that’s when to rely upon God - the AlMighty God. Exodus 15 explains that Moses and the Israelites after passing through the Red Sea, sang and rejoiced that Pharaoh’s army was destroyed. Verse 16 says, “Fear and dread shall fall upon them (Pharaoh’s army); by the greatest of Thine arm they shall be still as a stone; till Thy people pass over, which Thou hast purchased.” The word “fear” (which is Ay-maw) in this verse means, “to dread, fear, horror, terrible terror.” This word is repeated three times in this chapter.
Back in Isaiah 41:10 - “Fear thou not.” Why? This world is going “bananas.” Increased disasters, financial distress, more disease, and more crime, with less apprehension of the criminals. This above Scripture says, “be not dismayed.” This phrase means be not “bewildered, or depart or be dim.” Often this is exactly how we react to shocking circumstances, which come upon our situation suddenly. Sometimes, we don’t know where to go, what to do, or what to say. How can we (little insufficient human beings) deal with situations and trials? The next four phrases show us the only way of victory, “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.” Relying upon our Great God is the only way to victory.
Think of when Jesus was in the fiery furnace with the three Hebrew children in Daniel 3. They didn’t fear because Jesus was there with them. When the disciples were in the boat in the storm and were very fearful, Jesus stilled the waves - He was there with them. He rebuked the waves, saying “Peace, be still.” Jesus says to us, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5). The knowledge that He is with us invites faith into our hearts. Why should I fear, He is with me and will not forsake me.
Notice another part of our lead verse, “I am thy God.” We are the children of the living God. Romans 8:31 says. ‘What shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Vs. 37 the Word says, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”
Note the phrase, “I will strengthen thee.” The word “strengthen” means “be confirmed, courageous, steadfast minded, established.” He is saying to us, “I will hold you up, surround you and protect you, and aid and succor you.” Also, proceed to the phrase, “Yea, I will Help thee.” This is mentioned as a double affirmative. He will do both things, “strengthen and help.” The word “help” is very significant. It means “to sustain (keep us going), surround thee, protect, aid, or succor, to take us up as a shepherd does his sheep or as a father holds his children.”
What does He use to uphold us? The verse says, “Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” The right hand is usually the most dexterous hand , most powerful, more movable. Various places in the Bible the right hand of God is spoken of. For example, Jesus sits in the heavens at “the right hand of God..” Note “His righteousness.” He is our strength, and through His power is our overcoming and victory.
Our assurance of our justification by faith is through His righteousness, as He is the perfect sinless sacrifice. The word “justification” means to “make righteous.” II Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, He who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” We as Gentile believers were really never under condemnation of the law, but many Gentiles put themselves under the law and condemnation. This is a love relationship. We are in the family of God because we have accepted Jesus Christ’ death on the cross.
In closing I will speak again about “Fear.” Jesus himself said, “Be not afraid, only believe.” I Peter 3:14 says, “Be not afraid of their terror.” We live in a wicked world. But our God is faithful. In the New Testament the word, “afraid” speaks of “phobia, alarm, fright or terror.”
The world we live in is full of happenings that could really cause us to have all these descriptive words manifest in our lives. I John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” Perfect love - (agape) is God’s love for us. The word “perfect” in the Greek means” complete, growth of full age, man-maturity.” How is our love perfected? This perfection takes place as we walk in the Spirit, and grow up in Christ into a mature grown up son in Christ. As our love is perfected, we are able to “cast out fear” by the Holy Spirit power.
“In righteousness shalt thou be established; for thou shalt not fear, and from terror, for it shall not come near thee.” Isaiah 54:14.