Bible In One Year-Day 151 (Saturday, May 31, 2014)
Commentary: Jer40-42. The headquarter of Judah moved to Mizpah, not too far from the ruined Jerusalem. A new Governor named Gedaliah was installed. Jeremiah was now respected because his prophecies, hitherto, came to pass without leaving any stone unturned. Shortly after this new government was in place, a coup was planned against it and the Governor was assassinated. Johanan was one of the captains of the forces who had informed Gedaliah about an imminent plot to kill him but he despised the military warning. Eventually he was assassinated. Johanan wanted to kill Ishmael for the evil he did to the remnant of Judah, but Ishmael escaped. The escape of Ishmael brought fear upon them in that if the king of Babylon should hear of Gedaliah’s death, he might hold them responsible. The fear of the king of Babylon made them to want to escape to Egypt for protection. But they had a second thought to inquire of the Lord what heaven decided concerning their destiny. Unfortunately, God disapproved their going to Egypt.
There are two spirits attached to fear. The first one is the spirit of fear;
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
This spirit is not from God but from the devil to make us jealous, intimidated and lose confidence. It makes us to lose our minds. It is the greatest weapon in the hand of Satan. It is the spirit responsible for impatience which eventually pushes us to seek for alternatives with the impression that God is too slow. It is like the rod in the hand of Moses. He was holding it on the side of fear by the burning bush while giving God series of excuses. But when God told him to drop it, it became a serpent. He was asked to pick it up from the side of faith; it became the rod of signs and wonders. Before then there was no testimony recorded about the rod. Fear is a serpent whose poison kills faster than death. Faith, on the other hand, is a substance that moves the hand of God in an unusual manner. That same rod parted the Red Sea, brought water out of the rock. When you hold the rod of prayer in fear, it produces no result, but when you hold it with faith, unusual signs and wonders begin to happen. Many people pray in fear and so eventually get frustrated; their slogan is “I have prayed and fasted but nothing is happening”. Whereas, some just say few words and things happen; the difference is handling the rod of prayer on the right side – FAITH. With faith in prayer, there is power, there is love and there is sound mind (i.e. confidence). This spirit of fear is responsible for dishonesty and treachery. It is bondage. This fear pushes us to do contrary to God’s will and to cover up sin.
The second fear is found in the book of Isaiah;
Isaiah 11:2 “And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;”
The Spirit is called “Spirit of the fear of the Lord” You can’t fear God actively without this spirit (i.e. the spirit of man joined with the Spirit of God), though you confess it. With this spirit, humility becomes your garment and you can’t attribute any glory to yourself. You could only be a real solution to man’s problem with this spirit. One could get this spirit only by the baptism of the Holy Spirit; everything you do afterwards is to the glory of God. By this spirit, it becomes so easy to heed and meditate God’s word. You take action based on God’s word and not on information, circumstances or situations around you. This spirit is responsible for discernment, i.e. knowing evil and good. Without this spirit one easily goes astray and into error. This type of fear helps us to do God’s will; it is a good FEAR.
There is only one fear that is allowed in our lives and that is the fear of God. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Every other fear will lead to taking actions contrary to God’s will. Other fears are weapons in the hand of the devil to lead God’s people astray.
Johanan and co were men of war but the fear of the Chaldeans made them to despise God’s warning not to go to Egypt;
Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”
Fear is what makes Christians to seek for help from the world.
Let us seek for the old path where we could find rest. Let us listen to the trumpet’s sound, wherewith we could escape the calamity to come. Our reading for today is Jer43-45. Keep the fire burning and alive.
Romans 8:15 “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”