by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Psalms 49

 

I.         Have you ever wondered why cowardice is the first sin list in Revelation 21:8?

            A.        Being afraid is such a common thing that it seems it would be a minor concern

            B.        But a major weapon in Satan’s arsenal is fear

II.        Fear of the wrong thing can lead to sin

            A.        Saul’s infamous sin that cost him the kingship was due to fear - I Samuel 15:24

            B.        People make rushed choices when they are afraid.

                        1.         Thus fear becomes a trap - Proverbs 29:25

                        2.         People think they have to do something – anything – instead of waiting for God

            C.        When Sanballat wanted to stop Nehemiah, he tried to use fear - Nehemiah 4:7-14

            D.        Fear can also be used to intimidate others and force compliance - Isaiah 51:7-8

                        1.         Do not fear, no matter how hard life becomes - Ezekiel 2:6

                        2.         Or as Jesus told his disciples - Matthew 10:24-31

                        3.         Do not fear their intimidation - I Peter 3:14

III.       The wicked often live in fear

            A.        Proverbs 28:1 - They are jumpy because of their guilt

                        1.         Do what is right and there is no fear - Romans 13:3

            B.        Political leaders often live in fear

                        1.         Politics depends on people willing to follow

                        2.         Matthew 14:5 - Herod feared the crowd

                        3.         Matthew 21:26,46 - The Pharisees feared the people’s reaction

            C.        The things they fear often happen to them - Proverbs 10:24

                        1.         As God told the evil rulers of Judah - Ezekiel 11:8-10

            D.        The one the wicked should fear, they have no fear of - Psalms 36:1-4

            E.        But God will bring the wicked down - Psalms 52, 64

            F.        The righteous have no need to fear with God on their side Psalms 112:7-10

                        1.         Thus David told Solomon not to fear or be dismayed - I Chronicles 22:13

                        2.         Jehoshaphat won a battle with song by not being afraid or dismayed - II Chronicles 20:1-4, 15-17, 20-23

                        3.         Hezekiah told the people the same thing when faced with Assyria’s army - II Chronicles 32:4-8

            G.        I will not live in fear - Psalms 27:1-3, 14

                        1.         Don’t be afraid when things suddenly go bad - Proverbs 3:25-26

                        2.         God will take care - Psalms 55:22-23

IV.      The fear of death

            A.        People are sometimes manipulated by the evil because of a fear of dying

            B.        But David realized that having God means we need not fear death - Psalms 23:4

            C.        Solomon pointed out that a healthy fear of God frees us from the trap of death - Proverbs 14:27

            D.        An important reason for Jesus’ coming was that he conquer one of men’s greatest fears: the fear of death - Hebrews 2:15

            E.        As sons of God we don’t want to return to the slavery of fear again - Romans 8:15

V.        It is the one truly in control that we should fear

            A.        Fear the one who has the power over our eternal fate - Ecclesiastes 8:12-13

            B.        You can’t play both sides because that isn’t truly fearing God - II Kings 17:24-41

            C.        The fear of God is clean, enduring forever - Psalms 19:9

            D.        Don’t get caught up the fears of the world - Isaiah 8:11-13

            E.        When we seek God, we are delivered from fears - Psalms 34:4-7

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