Fear. That tingling, crawling, icky feeling we all get at one time or another. We all have these moments of fear. I used to work at a carpet cleaning company and part of my job was the night crew. The night crew, consisting of...me, were tasked with taking a carpet scrubber to one of several office buildings. Each night would be one or another office building. Most were perfectly fine. Nice, big, open windows, and space. Easy to move around.
There was one, on Friday nights, if my memory serves me well, that was more like an underground bunker. The only "window", if one wishes to call it that, was in the main entrance, near the receptionist area.
This was not a problem because I would always arrive as the sun was setting. There was usually someone in the building when I got there, finishing up some late work, and we would exchange pleasantries as I got ready to work.
Then they would leave....
The building was a single floor building with long hallways, and when the sun set, you would have the lights on in the building. No issues there. I would do the job, and turn lights off as I walked my way back to the hallway leading toward the front of the building (the hallways made a T shape). No issues.
The issue came when I had to turn off the horizontal hallway on the T before going down the vertical hallway. The vertical had some light (remember the "window" at the front?), and the light switch was near the door.
The horizontal hallway, there was light. In the hall. with one light switch. At the end. Next to the windowless door. No windows. The only light, when the lights were turned off was the sickly red 'EXIT' sign that hung from the ceiling.
Now, to turn the light off, I had to walk down the hallway, turn the light off, see the complete darkness, minus said red light, and walk back out toward the front.
I don't know if you have seen those scenes where there is always something sitting in the dark and there is ALWAYS a red light right before something jumps out? Yeah. Needless to say, I got real good of crossing the distance to get to the exit hallway very fast.
To this day, when I look into the church at night, the building is dark, except our red exit lights. My mind always thinks it sees movement. BURRRRR! I am not afraid of the dark for I go camping with our Trail Life program here at the church or just to get out into nature, I am out in the fields, and woods at night, I drive, at times, at night, I really am not afraid of the dark. I think it has something to do with the red light that glows just enough to play mind tricks. Nope, I am out at that moment!
Fear. We all have it at times, and the Bible is full of commands about fear. We have the good type of fear which we are supposed to have, the fear of God (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; 14:27; 15:33), etc. This is a good, healthy fear that all Christians must have.
However, the fear we are looking at today is not that. In Proverbs 3:25, we are called to not fear the sudden terror nor trouble from the wicked. This command is carried forward into the New Testament in Matthew 10:28. The reason being, the terror and trouble the wicked cause is only physical. And do we have a lot of wicked today.
In India, churches are being pressured to give info on what they do.
In Uganda, Christians were assaulted.
Vermont targets Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers
Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Kentucky all have targeted Christian Businesses because of their stance on human sexuality forcing the owners to go through the courts, some to victory, and sadly, some to losses,
This can be duplicated around the nation, especially what we saw in 2020.
This says nothing of the societal attacks on Christians and Christianity around our nation! Needless to say, many in our government, from the president down, and many in the judicial courts, from the Supreme Court down, and MANY in our society, want Christians and Christianity to be gutted from society and forgotten.
Being a Christian is not easy and it was never going to be easy. Not only are terrors and troubles going to come, Jesus said so in the New Testament.
Notice in Proverbs 3:25, the word is "when", not "if". When these troubles and terror comes. Jesus, in the New Testament tells us we will be hated (Matthew 10:22), and we will be handed over for persecution (Matthew 24:9). Paul, in writing to Timothy, tells him all who live Godly will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). We see how many who are elected, use their powers to target those they disagree with. Many times, Christians are the first to be targeted because of our stances on social issues.
Here in Proverbs 3:25, we are told to not have fear? How do we not have fear? We go back to what we said we are to fear, God. That causes us to have a right perspective. When our true fear is where it should be, our focus changes from the physical to the Spiritual (Matthew 10:28). The world is going to breath fire and hatred toward us. If our view is on what they are doing, we are going to be rocked back and forth. If our view is on God, the world can say and do all they want. Our faith is not shaken.
Too many Christians look to the courts, politics, or groups to help secure us, but how many drop to our knees to pray? Sadly, all of us can get caught up in the fallacy of looking at the physical only. The Psalmist gives us a prayer that would be good for all of us to reflect on (Psalm 43). We, as Christians are not to fear the world around us. They have their ending and it is not good (Psalm 73).
Proverbs 3:25 tells us what not to do, but Proverbs 3:26 also tells us the why! First, the Lord will be our confidence, and second, our foot will not be caught. Let us look at this more! Confidence is the word that relates to having trust in God. There is an assurance with our trust in God but the word has a double meaning. If there is no trust in God, the word Confidence means folly. To trust in anything other than God is folly, but for those who trust in God, even when the evil comes, God becomes the hope and confidence for the believer.
We have spent some time working through wisdom and discretion, and true wisdom and discretion brings us to the point we realize it is foolish to put our trust in anything else other than God Himself. Look at how trusting plays out both negative and positive:
Negative: Deuteronomy 28:52; 2 Kings 18:21; Job 15:31; Psalm 20:7; 31:6; 44:6; 49:6
Positive: Samuel 22:3, 31; 1 Chronicles 5:20; Psalm 2:12; 4:5; 5:11; 7:1; 9:10; 11:1; 16:1; 17:7; 18:2, 30; 25:2; 31:1, 6, 14, 19; 34:22; 36:7
Take the time to read through these verses. Do you see the difference? Trusting in the Lord never is futile. Instead, trusting in the Lord can and will keep us from being caught by the evil being plotted. But notice the second part of Proverbs 3:26. Our foot will not be caught. I love 1 Samuel 2:9 and I believe it helps us to understand how God works.
By trusting in God, He will keep our foot grounded on the truth and rock of Himself, and He never rests so His vigilance is ever kept (Psalm 121:3). This, again, is not always easy because there are storms in life. Therefore, the call through Isaiah is very fitting in Isaiah 44:8. There is one catch though. There must be righteousness. Not righteousness based on our political party affiliation, or on our social or economical groups we align with. But God's righteousness as we have said and can easily document often is contrary to what we see being done today (Isaiah 54:14).
This means a Christian who is part of, or supports those who promote and support those things contrary to the Bible, are not living in righteousness. They are aiding the evils that are happening. I have said it before, God does care what we do, and He ABSOLUTELY cares about who we vote for. Dear believer, do not put aside your faith simply for a political party. This goes for both Republicans AND Democrats. Look at what they do and say. Then measure that against the Bible. If it means we have to change our vote or our support, then so be it.
To wrap up, Psalm 112:7 is a great bookmark to Proverbs 3:26. When we are trusting in God, we will not be afraid of the world or those in the world. For we are trusting in God Himself. Therefore, O Christian, who are you trusting in? In this time of upheaval and the promotion of evil from seemingly all sectors of life, how do we live and walk? If we are doing so, based on our own sight, then we are going to be unable to live as Proverbs 3:25-26 tells us. But if we walk in the fear of the Lord, it does not mean we will not be tested or tried by fire. But we will not be shaken from our faith. The world may blow and grunt at us, but in the end, that is all they are...all bark and no bite.
Trust in the Lord and do not be afraid. Even if the hallway is dark with only a glowing red light at the end.