“The fear of man bringeth a snare”
Suggested Scripture reading – I Samuel 15:10-31
It was a pretty little church down on the corner. There was an old oak tree in the yard that gave it a pleasant welcoming look. However, there was a problem. The people of the church believed the Bible to be the Word of God. They expected their people to live by it and obey its teachings. They taught the people to love the Lord Jesus Christ with all of their hearts.
Anne’s mom really did not want her to attend there. The people of the church had knocked on Anne’s door one day and told her about Jesus’ love. Anne responded to that love and invited Him into her heart to be her Savior. She began to attend the little church faithfully. That was when Her mother and father became concerned.
“You shouldn’t go there so much. Everyone in town knows that they are a bunch of fanatics.” Every day her family would have new reasons why Anne should stop attending. “For goodness sake! If you must go to church, come and go to our church.” reasoned her dad. “We aren’t so dogmatic and don’t interfere in your life like that church on the corner does.”
“Yes,” she responded. “But they also don’t teach the Bible or Jesus as the way of salvation.”
And so it went. She tried to remain faithful to the church and the Lord, but she feared the wrath and displeasure of her family. She was tempted to listen to them and forsake the Lord. She feared their faces and their harsh words.
There is a story in the life of Samuel that we read in I Samuel 15. There God had commanded that Saul lead the people against the Amalikites and to destroy them. They were a godless people who were the enemies of the Israelites. Saul was to “utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not” (I Samuel 15:3) God knew that the things that they might want to keep would be diseased and would tempt them away from the Lord. King Saul heard the command of God but also heard the words of the people. After the battle was over they had taken the cattle that looked healthy. The people refused to obey the command of God and their words convinced Saul to disobey. The result of this was God’s displeasure. He said He would remove Saul from the throne. Samuel’s words to King Saul were, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to harken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (I Samuel 15:22-23) At Samuel’s rebuke Saul responded, “I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people.” (vs. 24) Saul feared the people and it was a “snare” unto him. The “fear of man” cost him his throne and brought the displeasure of God.
Anne fought the battle and remained true to the Lord. As time passed her family began to see the love of Jesus that was exhibited by the people of the church. Eventually, after a time, they too trusted Christ as their Savior. If Anne had allowed the “fear of man” to direct her away from Christ’s people, she would have been defeated spiritually. More importantly, Mom and Dad would have never been saved. Child of God, never let the fear of others to keep you from being faithful to God. “The fear of man bringeth a snare but who so putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)
Fear not the words of man but trust the leading of the Father.
“In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge.”
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