Fearless Friday ~ Gaining Strength from Scripture in the Midst of Fear
I have read this passage of Scripture so many times and wondered how Abraham must have been feeling during this ultimate test of his faith. Twenty five years went by between the time that Abraham was first told that his offspring would inherit the land (Genesis 12:7) and Sarah giving birth to their son Isaac (Genesis 21:5). After waiting all that time, God then asks Abraham to sacrifice the very child he had waited for, who had been promised to him (Genesis 22:2).
What would your response have been? What would your response be today if God asked you to sacrifice what you hold most dear and precious to your heart? I think we all know what the right answer is and I think we can all agree we would struggle to make it our immediate response without question.
The Lord steps in and as Jehovah Jireh, He provides a lamb for the substitution sacrifice. This of course points to the fact that God provided THE Subtitutionary Sacrifice and atonement for our sins ~ Jesus Christ!
So why? Why was Abraham willing to sacrifice his one and only son?
FEAR OF THE LORD
It was a test. “God tested Abraham” (Genesis 22:1). It was a chance for Abraham to prove His trust and faith in the Lord, and fear of Him above all else. It was also a chance for God to prove His sovereignty over Abraham’s life and His faithfulness to His promises. I love what Lysa TerKeurst writes in The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands.“Fearing God has been a term I’ve wrestled with and longed to better understand. I know it means to have a deep level of reverence for God. But I love what a friend of mine who studies language root words to better understand biblical terms recently shared with me. After much study she now defines a person who fears God as, ‘one who sees the hand of God in everything.'”
The root word used in Genesis 22:12 is “yare’“:
- to fear, be afraid
- to stand in awe of, be awed
- to fear, reverence, honor, respect
This is the same word as is used in Psalm 31:19 on which John Piper gives this commentary:“The fear of the Lord is the fear of straying from him. Therefore it expresses itself in taking refuge in God. That’s why two conditions are mentioned in Psalm 31:19—fearing the Lord and taking refuge in him. They seem to be opposites. Fear seems to drive away and taking refuge seems to draw in. But when we see that this fear is a fear of not being drawn in, then they work together. There is a real trembling for the saints. “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). But it is the trembling one feels in the arms of a Father who has just plucked his child from the undertow of the ocean.”
To fear God is to behold His power, righteous anger, majesty, and wonder in awe of His splendor, mercy, and unmerited grace! Ed Welch says Fear of the Lord is:“…a fear reserved exclusively for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ. This fear means reverent submission that leads to obedience, and it is interchangeable with ‘worship,’ ‘rely on,’ ‘trust,’ and ‘hope in’” (emphasis mine)
Sweet friends when you are afraid remember to take refuge in The Lord, for straying from Him is a more fearful place than in the refuge of the shadow of His wings.
When you fear the results from the doctor ~ worship, rely on, trust, and hope in the great physician who has the power to heal all sickness and health and worship Him who will one day remove all pain.
When you fear losing a loved one ~ worship, rely on, trust, and hope in the great comforter who hears your cries and will one day wipe every tear from your eye for there will be no more mourning.
When you fear the future and long for things in your life to change ~ worship, rely on, trust, and hope that God has great plans for you and that one day the new life will come.
There is so much more to fear in a life separated from God’s will and plans, than in your present circumstance. Trust in His plan. Believe in His sovereign power. Acknowledge Him as Lord of your life and sacrifice all to Him today. Allow Him to show His redemptive grace and mercy through your life as you continue to rejoice in Him through the trials of everyday life!
Worship, Rely on, Trust, and Hope in The Lord and have a Fearless (of the world) Friday!
If this post encouraged you ~ share it with a friend!