Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
March 26 Scripture Selection: I Samuel 16-18
Food for Thought: I Sam. 16:4; 17:10-11, 24; 18:8-9, 12
One common theme in today’s selection is fear and how it dominates people’s lives. While some would say that fear is a normal, human reaction or feeling, it is not how the Lord intends for us to live our lives. Fear paralyzes. It attributes more power to the enemy than is real. It ruins relationships and is at the root of jealousy. And, in the case of the elders of Bethlehem, it is probably caused by sin and condemnation.
Notice that the elders of Bethlehem trembled just because the man of God was entering the town. What should have been a time of rejoicing and great honor was an event that provoked fear in them. What had they been doing that caused them to fear his presence? Did they expect some harsh punishment? It is reminiscent of when Adam and Eve, after their fall, saw that they were naked and hid themselves from God (Gen. 3:8). Unfortunately, some people today avoid ministers or church altogether for the same reason. They are afraid of being exposed because of their life-style. Sadly, their misconception of God and their fear keeps them from really receiving the love of God and being set free. He will not reject or condemn anyone!
Saul and all Israel were easily drawn to fear because they put more stock in what they could see with their eyes and hear with their ears than in the Word of God and their supernatural experiences of His power in the past. All they could think about was the “here and now” instead of encouraging themselves and building their faith from what they should have known to be true, a truth much greater than anything they could perceive with their natural senses. The Lord had proven Himself to be faithful time and time again, but none of that mattered to them, and they were “dismayed” and “dreadfully afraid.” What a terrible condition to live in!
Saul showed again his tendency to fear when the people began to praise the feats of David. His jealousy of the people’s adoration for David triggered fear in him that he would lose the approval of the people as well as the kingdom, which caused him to have fits of rage especially directed toward David. Behind most people’s animosity is fear and insecurity.
David’s heart was not so inclined (at least at this point in his life). He had a secure, intimidate knowledge of his God and had experienced God’s intervention many times in his own life. He knew Goliath was no match against the power of the Lord working in him. In addition, fear would have allowed the enemy to have dominion in his life and in the lives of all his countrymen. So if no one else would stand up to the “uncircumcised Philistine” (a man outside the covenant of God), then he certainly would. (There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (I John 4:18))
And so it is today. Fear may be a normal reaction, but only for those who do not understand their position in Christ and all the benefits that come with the covenant that the Lord has made with us. So regardless of the size of the enemy, we do not need to fear. God is great enough to handle it in us.
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):