The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. – Proverbs 29:25
What brings fear into your life? What do you fear?
Fear is such a strong emotion. While we tend to think of fear being a negative emotion, fear can be a motivator. It can also keep us out of danger. But, from my experience and observation, fear can nearly paralyze us. It often keeps us from trying something new or meeting new challenges. Or fear of how others may react to us can push us into things that we know aren’t right.
While it may not be true in every instance, the times when I am fearful are the times I’m struggling to have faith in and trust in the LORD.
Here in verse 25, King Solomon is telling us how fear can be very harmful to us. Fear of what others may think, say or do to me, brings a snare to us, a trap which will stop us in our tracks. In fact, because of fear, we don’t move forward in trust and confidence. We’re afraid of how other may respond and therefore we are caught, unable to move forward. We’re not trusting God.
I think of the army of ancient Israel in 1 Samuel 17:11 when because of the fear of Goliath, they were huddled together, paralyzed with fear and unable to fight the battle before them. I’m sure you remember the story of the boy David going out to meet his brother who were in the army. Israel was in conflict with the Philistines and their “champion,” Goliath from the other mountain top, calls out Israel and taunts them. His mere size alone was fearful. He was large, his weapons were massive and his language mocked Israel. The entire army was fearful and afraid to act. They were afraid to be the men God called them to be. They were an well trained and equipped army and they had the Creator of the Universe on their side. Yet they were paralyzed with fear, unable to move.
Like ancient Israel, we can succumb to fear in the same way.
This often occurs when we can’t see how obedience to God resolves our situation. We see the circumstances before us, we hear what those around us are saying and we cannot resolve in our minds how this situation will work out. We may not panic exactly, but we do operate in fear. Sometimes we cower in the corner like the army of ancient Israel or sometimes we blunder forward doing what we think others want us to do. Either way, we fall into a trap, a snare.
The contrast however, is trusting in God. That trust brings safety. I realize this is easier said than done. Sometimes you are facing a giant of a problem and your situation looks bleak. Sometimes the odds against you are overwhelming. Trusting God is not easy all the time, but it is always right.
You may be on your own (you’re really not alone, but you may think so). You may not see how it will work out and you may be strongly encouraged to violate His plan, but trusting in Him is always the best course of action.
Don’t be afraid of what others say or do. But trust in the LORD. Only by following Him are you truly secure.