Fear and Faith

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:  “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”

Genesis 15:1

In the Bible God repeatedly says to us:  “Do not fear,” or “Do not be afraid.”  It is commonly said that God makes this statement or something similar 365 times in the Bible.  It’s almost like God wants us to have a reminder for each day of the year.   

We need the continual reminder because fear is so pervasive and so deadly.  Fear can sap all joy and ruin all peace.  Fear can grip us by the throat and toss us back and forth like a rag doll.  Fear is lethal!  So, over and over in the Bible, God urges, fear not, fear not, fear not.  

The very first time we hear these words is right here in Genesis 15:1.  Every time God says to someone, “Fear not,” you can be sure that the person is scared to death.  

So why is Abraham so afraid in Genesis 15?  What exactly is Abraham afraid of?  

The previous passage in Genesis 14 tells us the story.  A band of marauding kings combined their armies and attacked the Jordan Valley.  They took much spoil and many captives, including Lot, Abraham’s nephew.  Abraham responded with a courageous act of faith.  He gathered his men, set off in pursuit of the marauders and rescued Lot and the other captives.  What a bold act of faith!  

However, Abraham realizes that these kings will likely attack again.  And when they do, they will be looking for one man in particular:  Abraham!  The thought is terrifying.  And Abraham, like us, succumbs to fear.  

What does God say to Abraham?  “Abraham, do not be afraid.  Do not give way to fear.  I will protect you.  I will be your shield.  I will be your protector.  Abraham, I will take care of you, for I am your God.”  

That’s exactly what God wants you to know.  Is there a fear that has been plaguing you, attacking you, depleting you?  Then hear God’s words to you,“Do not be afraid.  I will take care of you.  I will protect you.  I will see you through.  Do not be afraid.”  

Give your fear to God.  Receive God’s peace.  Trust God’s love.