1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
True or right fear is discovered by three things:– 1. By its rise; it is caused by saving convictions for sin. 2. It driveth the soul to lay fast hold of Christ for salvation. 3. It begetteth and continueth in the soul a great reverence of God, his Word, and ways, keeping it tender, and making it afraid to turn from them, to the right hand or to the left, to anything that may dishonour God, break its peace, grieve the Spirit, or cause the enemy to speak reproachfully.
The Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan
In studying the life of Lot I found a consistent problem, a consistent sin, that he exhibited often throughout his life.
Lot feared man more than God!
Genesis 19:2-3 (ESV)
2 and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.”
3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
Lot feared the men of the city such that he insisted the two men come with him to his house.
Genesis 19:8 (ESV) Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.”
Lot offered his daughters to the wicked men of the city because he feared what the men of the city might do to his guests.
Genesis 19:19 (ESV) Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die.
Granted here we don’t know what Lot feared beyond the nebulous fear of “evil” or “disaster”. But we would typically refer to evil or disaster as coming from the hand of man, beast or Satan. Nevertheless Lot exhibited fear and lack of trust in the Lord. The same Lord that sent two angels to physically lead Lot and his family out of the city before judgment came, Lot did not trust Him. But even whenLot was told that the city of Zoar would not be destroyed because of Lot being there, Lot still feared. (Genesis 19:21-22)
Genesis 19:30 (ESV) Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters.
The very next verses about Lot’s life shows he is again exhibiting fear of men. Even after escaping Sodom by the direct action of the Lord, Lot is still controlled by his fear.
Genesis 19:31 (ESV) And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth.
Not only did Lot live in fear but he taught his daughters to live in fear. His daughters feared never having a husband or children unless they took things into their own hands.
Why would Lot live in such fear of man when he had such direct contact from the Lord through Abraham and even through angels?
Psalms 23:4 (ESV) Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Matthew 10:28 (ESV) And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Luke 12:4-5 (ESV)
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.
5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
Hebrews 13:6 (ESV) So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
And a specific one for women. How much plainer can that be? Isn’t that convicting?
1 Peter 3:5-6 (ESV)
5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,
6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
Are you living in fear of man?
Does fear of man hinder you from obeying God?
Is your Christian faith unproductive due to fear of man?