Judges 8:4-6, 8 – Fear
4 And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them.
5 And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.
6 And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army?
8 And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him.
Gideon is on the move, chasing down the army of the Midianites. Gideon’s men are tired now, so they decide to ask for help. First, they ask the city of Succoth and then the city of Penuel. Both turned him down because they were afraid that Gideon would not successfully capture the Midianite kings that were left and that, after the Midianites regroup and defeat Gideon, they would come back to punish whoever helped Gideon chance them down! The problem is that Gideon was fighting on God’s side, yet the people of Succoth and Penuel were still afraid of what the enemies of God would do to them!
For us today, this narrative has an important New Testament principle, do not fear. Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” If we are living to serve God, there is nothing that we need to be afraid. A big one, in our culture, is that we start to fear what other people would think if we go to church, invite them to church, or choose to not do the same things as the people around us (like partying, drinking, lying, gossiping, you get the picture.)
The people of Succoth and Punuel were afraid. Today, we have nothing to be afraid of. If we are living for Him, our fears is not something that is from God, but something meant to distract us. Don’t fear like the people in Succoth and Punuel did, but get on God’s side and don’t be afraid to do something for Him.
Life Step: Think about it…
What kind of things do you tend to be afraid of?
What do you do when you are afraid?
What could help to ease our fears?