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  • Rev. Joseph A. Bias

FEAR NOT! – Part 2

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Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.”

In Part 1 we saw in Genesis chapter 12 how Abram was quick to do what God called him to do, and no word of encouragement or dissuasion was needed to dispel any temptation or threat of fear in him.

But later in Genesis chapter 15, God comes to Abram again, but this time His greeting is,

Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.”

What happened to Abram between chapter 12 and chapter 15? What happened to the man to whom God simply spoke a word and he moved, the man who immediately got up and got going? Was there no fear in Abram then?

That there was a change in Abram’s attitude is evident by how God speaks to Him this time. Since their last encounter Abram has stepped out in faith and left the comforts and secure surroundings of family and familiar territory. He has now experienced life at a raw and threatening dimension. He has encountered a famine and he has passed through Egypt with Sarai his wife and faced the threat of loosing his life or his wife or both.

There are several instances in scripture when Egypt, for all its paganism and worship of false God’s, served as a place or temporary refuge for God’s covenant people. It was for Abram, then later, for Jacob (Israel) and his sons. It was the place where Joseph the son of Jacob (Israel), though sold into slavery, ultimately became the second in command over the whole nation. There was also Elimelech and Naomi who fled to Egypt from the famine in Bethlehem recorded in the Book of Ruth.

It was a temporary refuge for Joseph and Mary and Jesus as a little child when Herod gave command to slay all children three years old and younger, thinking that by doing so he would destroy the Messiah, The King Of The Jews whom the wise men told him had been born in the land.

Entering Egypt, Abram feared death at the hands of the Egyptian Pharaoh because of Sarai’s great beauty, that he would want to take her as his wife. If he knew she was married to Abram, Pharaoh would simply kill Abram and taken her. But, as his sister he would be compelled to pay Abram a handsome dowry for her. And he did. But before he could marry her God intervened for Abram and Sarai’s sakes and revealed to Pharaoh in a dream that if he took her he would bring a curse on all the people of Egypt, because she was not Abram’s sister but she was his wife.

Fearing the wrath of the God of the Hebrews, Pharaoh confronts Abram and demands to know why he lied to him about the woman. Nevertheless, he gave her back to him and sent him away from there with all the dowry he had given for her, and then some, He did this in order that the curse God told him would come upon all the nation if he took her, would be lifted off the people and the land.

Having gone through these things, Abram may have become anxious for what the next challenge would be. Maybe he thought everything would be a piece of cake once he started on the road to the place where God was leading him. But, now after the tough time of a famine, then encountering the power of the Pharaoh and the potential loss of his wife and all his possessions, maybe he wasn’t as certain about the future.

Then there was the incident with Lot, his nephew. Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen were fighting over the use of the land as to whose herd had the right of way so to speak. So, to keep the peace Abram let Lot choose where he and his people and all their herds and flocks would live and Abram went with all his people and possessions far away in the opposite direction.

Sometimes when disputes cannot be resolved between family members and peace attained through forgiveness and love, then, it is better to part from one another amicably and each go their separate ways.

The story of Abram and Lot speaks to the necessity to separate from those, even in our own family who will not live in harmony with us. But, while God makes room for such concessions, His best will is that we be reconciled to one another. To not do so is to remain in bondage to the circumstances and attitudes that separate us from one another. Ultimately, God’s purpose is to make us free from the grip of Satan and all his constraining schemes and devices that he has foisted on us. So, yes the enemy of God cannot and will not hold us in bondage to anything.

Forgiveness and reconciliation are the sweet rewards of being free from the bondage of fear. Teaching someone else to know the truth of God’s WORD, proclaiming the Good News that Jesus Christ has come to save sinners. and declaring that by grace through faith in His name we are all saved is the primary purpose of our ministry on the earth. We can free people’s hearts, minds and souls from fear and death by preaching the power of the blood of the Lamb and sharing the word of our testimony. Yes, we speak to and we command the enemy in the name of Jesus, “Let God’s people Go!” We will speak the truth in love and push back against the spirit of Pharaoh that seeks to keep people in bondage to fear through his lies.

Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. God is Love, and Love is reigning in us and His perfect Love casts out all fear.

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