Commands of Christ
Where is this command found?
“Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Applying This Command
Hundreds of times in Scripture we are instructed not to fear and not to be afraid. At the same time, we are told to fear the Lord. The same Hebrew and Greek words are used to describe both the fear that we should not have toward man and the fear that we must have of the Lord. The primary Hebrew word used for fear is yaré. It means “to revere, to frighten, to make afraid, and be dreadful.” The Greek word for fear is phobeo which means “to be alarmed, to be frightened, to be in awe of, and to revere.” Fear is extremely important, because we worship what we fear. If we fear man, we will worship man and be intimidated by him. If we fear our children, we will worship them, and they will control us. But if we fear God, we will worship Him and give Him His proper honor and reverence.
When David faced Goliath he had no fear, because he realized that Goliath was not defying him or even Israel, but the armies of the Living God. He was, therefore, confident that God would protect His own reputation by allowing him to conquer Goliath by using the same method through which God had allowed him to conquer a lion and a bear. In contrast to this, David was fearful when his own son Absalom rose up against him. He fled for his life, because he knew that Absalom’s wrath was against him personally and that this was part of the judgment of God for his sin with Bathsheba. When a man cursed him along the way, David said, “Let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him” (II Samuel 16:11).
Jesus did not fear people, because He understood their thoughts and motives. He did not fear Satan, because He overcame the temptations in the wilderness.And He did not fear death, because He had already purposed to give His life for the salvation of all who believe on Him.
Bible Verses for Meditation
In addition to meditation on Matthew 10:28, meditating on the verses below will provide you with further insight and understanding of Christ’s command: Fear God, Not Man.
“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”
I John 4:18
“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.”
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”
From the Podcast
A: When David confronted Goliath he had no fear, because he realized that Goliath was actually not defying him or even the armies of Israel; Goliath was defying the living God. A man who is not afraid to die holds incredible power. David was confident that God would protect His own reputation by equipping David to conquer Goliath just as He had previously equipped David to conquer a lion and a bear.
In contrast to this, David was fearful when his own son Absalom rose up against him. He fled for his life because he knew that Absalom’s wrath was directed toward him personally and that this was part of the judgment of God for David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba.
When a man cursed David, his servants wanted to put an end to it. However, David said, “Let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him” (II Samuel 16:11).
Both situations reveal David’s fear of the Lord. David boldly accepted the challenge of facing Goliath because David knew that he was on God’s side and that God would fight for him. Later, he recognized that God was using the defiance of his son Absalom to discipline him and that he was powerless to do anything but plead for God’s mercy.
For Further Study
You can learn more about the command Fear Not in the book Commands of Christ: Series 4.
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