Fear Not

The below is a reposting of a post I had written March of 2009. With almost 30,000 since that time from around the world, over 13,000 just the six months of 2012, what is the attraction? Why are so many people interested in this blog? What is going on in this world? Read the following short blog and give me your idea as to what is happening.

I have heard for years that there are 365 “fear not’s” in the bible, one for every day of the week. What a comfort to believe that there is one for every day of the week. And yet, one “fear not” from Jesus is enough, right?

Well, I hate to rain on anyone’s parade, but I have dug and hunted and I can not even find 100 “fear not’s.”

  • King James Version: 74 – fear not; 29 – be not afraid
  • New American Standard Bible:  4 – fear not; 57 – do not fear; 46 – do not be afraid

This information is not earth shaking. It’s just a cute saying that is wrong and way off. Don’t let it shake your faith, just Fear Not!

At the very best the word for Fear, in all of it’s forms, is only listed 314 times in the original languages which includes words that have been translated into words such as terrible, dreadful, reverence, and terrible acts. As for the different translations blueletterbible.com also list the following:

NKJV 129, NIV 66, NASB 127, ASV 148, DBY 155, HNV 44, NLT 38, ESV 137, RSV 139, YNG 115, WEB 144

The fact is, it would be just as true if it were listed only one time in scripture.

When God said, “let there be light,” He only had to say it one time for it to happen. It does not have to be listed 365 times.


Grasshoppers & Giants, Nephilim

Numbers 13:33 “There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

The word “Giant” is found several times in the Bible but only three times translated from the word nephil or nephilim (twice in this verse and once in Genesis 6). The giants of Davids time were tall men called giants, and we have tall men today. I’m sure that they seemed much taller when you consider that the average height of a man in those days was around 5 feet.

But, what about these men that the spies saw when Moses sent them into the land of Canaan? What makes them different from the giants of Davids day?

The word Niphil comes from the root word which means fallen. According to Genesis 6 the sons of God produced offspring with the daughters of men. Some say that the sons of God were the righteous men and the daughters of men were the daughters of the unrighteous.

The second explanation is that the sons of God were fallen angels. Thus, the explanation of calling them Nephilim – fallen. But all of these were killed in the flood. There has never been any evidence from scripture that this ever happened again, although it could have.

So, what did the spies see? Keep in mind that Moses had just received Genesis from God along with the commandments and instructions for the tabernacle while he was on the mountain not many weeks or months earlier. They read the instructions for the tabernacle because it was now built. They read the commandments and the instructions for the priests. It stands to reason that the account of Genesis would have been read to the people also.

With this fresh in there minds and mixed in with folklore passed down from Noah’s day that had changed in story by word of mouth, could it not be possible that the spies only assumed that they saw the “fallen ones?”

Later Joshua refers to these people three different time and each time calls them giants or tall men.

The fact is, it is not about what they saw in these tall men but what they then saw about themselves. Ten of the twelve spies allowed their imaginations to dictate what they felt about themselves – grasshoppers.

  • How would the story been different if Moses had thought of himself as a grasshopper before Pharaoh?
  • How would the story been different if Noah had thought of himself as a grasshopper in the feat of building a large ship for 100 years?
  • How would the story  been different if Abraham had thought of himself as a grasshopper – introducing himself to others as “The Father of Many Nations” when he had only a son by a servant?
  • How would David’s story been different had he thought of himself as a grasshopper before the giant of his day?

Then the twelve spies said that the giants also saw them as grasshoppers. Therefore, it must have been true. Whether the giants really did see them as such or were possibly the ones who called them grasshoppers, initiating the feeling of incompetency, it was the choice of the spies what they believed. They chose to believe that they were grasshoppers, incompetent.

God’s blessing was upon Joshua and Caleb because they refused to accept that image of themselves. As a result, 40 years later Joshua is taking Moses place as leader into conquer the land and Caleb wants to take the very mountain where the lived giants at the age of 80. That is courage!

Many people have had a calling or a vision God gave them and yet they did nothing about it because the felt like a grasshopper before a giant.

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What Do You Fear

Job 3:25 For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.

Job was a man of great possessions, loved his children, and was godly. He did have a weakness though, fear. What did he fear? He said that what he feared would happen did happen.

So, how did Satan know where to hit Job? He hit him in his fear.

I have to wonder if Satan could have taken any of his possessions and children away had he not feared losing them?

Someone very close to me had a fear all of her life. She feared that she would never see her 48th birthday. In her earlier 40’s God had worked a miracle in her body. Her doctor at John’s Hopkins even wrote “Miracle Girl” on her chart.

Several years later an unrelated issue occured. She had developed cancer. She fought it for 3 years and died weeks from her 48th birthday.

Is it possible that her fear kept her from seeing her 48th birthday? Just asking.

Are You Hiding?

Hide & Seek

Hide & Seek

Genesis 3:8-9 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

This is the first occurrence of a human attribute that is described to God which does not fit. It is not a misprint, bad translation, or a weakness of God. When He asked “where are you” it was not a matter of not knowing where Adam and Eve were but served two purposes:

1. It was a way to open up a conversation with Adam and Eve from the comfort of their own hiding place and give them a moment to explain themselves. He did not accuse them but expressed a desire for them. God was applying therapy. They had developed the first baggage that could have been carried with them throughout their marriage and passed on to their children. But, God opened up that baggage by asking the questions, “Where are you,” “Who is to blame,” and “Did you disobey.”

2. He was playing their game. My grandkids are very small and their favorite game is hide and seek. They have even told me where to hide. I played it their way. God played it their way.

So, did God know where they were all the time? If we are to believe that not only does God know everything but He knows the future, then the answer is yes.

There is a deeper principle here.

1. Sin makes you stupid. When you look at these two verses it is very easy to conclude that God walked with Adam and Even on a regular basis. We really have no idea as to how many weeks, months or even years have past since their creation. Surely, by now, they understand the vastness of God’s knowledge and the limitless sight that He has.

Adam had to be anything but dumb. He was given an assignment by God – to name all of the animals. Could you do that and remember them without the use of a computer or even a pen and paper? And yet, following their sin, they really believed that they could hide from the presence of God.

They hid from the “presence” of God. They attempted the impossible.

2. Sin introduced fear. In verse 10 they were afraid. But, with this fear they experienced shame and possibly guilt. Can you just imagine experiencing these kinds of feelings for the very first time in your lives?

3. Sin reveals the absence of God. Many have tried to explain why sin made such a big deal about being naked. Sin does not keep people from being naked today. This is just my conclusion. I believe that before their sin they were somehow covered with the glory or presence of God and now they were, for the first time, uncovered.

Not only does sin have a price but God cares about your baggage.

Most Frequent Command

Jesus said that the greatest command is to love God and the second one, which is like it, was to love your neighbor as you love yourself. But, did you know that the command to love God is not the most frequent command?

The most frequent command give was “fear not” or “don’t be afraid.”

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

John wrote that perfect love casts out fear in 1 John 4:18.

Does that mean that we have nothing to fear? Yes and no. There are many things things that we face such as finances, doctors report, raising kids, peer pressure, dating, the boss, the marriage; all of these and more will bring fear to our doorsteps. The command? Fear not.

NOTE: Have you ever heard that “Fear Not” is mentioned 365 times in the Bible, one for every day of the year? At the very best it is mentioned in one form or another about 100 times and it all depends upon what translation you use.