So many people are selling fear today. Our news programs are filled with fear. Our commercials are filled with fear. There’s a difference between caution and fear. There’s a difference between preparedness and fear. Right now, we’re seeing folks trying to profit off of fear. After all, there’s a lot of money in fear.
The Bible tells us that we aren’t to fear man. We aren’t to fear situations. We are only to fear God. It’s been popular lately to translate where the Bible says to fear God as to have awe of God. We’ve flipped the message from Scripture. We’re teaching to fear each other and not God.
“Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.” – Isaiah 8:12-15, ESV
Isaiah’s warning from God was clear: fear God and not anything else. If you’re going to dread something, dread being on the wrong side of God. Some would turn this message and accuse God of being evil for saying to fear Him. However, God is the only one deserving of our fear. He is the Creator. He is the Almighty. Yet even as He told Isaiah to fear Him, He also sent a message of hope.
He told Isaiah and tells us to let Him be our sanctuary. He also called Himself a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling. He would be the trap and snare for those who choose sin and iniquity over Him. Fear can cause us to run away. Fear can us to freeze up. Fear can also cause us to fight when we shouldn’t. God’s warning is that none of that’s needed. If action is needed, He will take it. Our best plan is to seek Him.
However, that word sanctuary isn’t just a place of refuge and safety. It is supposed to be a place of holiness. We are to meet Him where He is. It is a command to focus on Him, on our relationship with Him, and what He is doing. Put aside the messages of fear. Fear God, and find a place of refuge in His presence.