Fear Wins Again…

I am preparing for a sermon series in the Fall on fear. I think that many times during our lives, and perhaps especially during this election season, we need to be reminded about what the Bible says about fear. One aspect of the power of fear is seen here in the Old Testament book of 1 Kings. Solomon has turned away from God to serve other gods and has been told that a part of the kingdom will be taken away from him. After he dies, a man named Jeroboam is called by God to be king of 10 tribes. Jeroboam is told that if he follows God, God will bless him and make him great. So, the kingdom is split into northern and southern kingdoms, Jeroboam getting the north and Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, getting the south.

We read this in chapter 12: 25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim, and dwelt there. Also he went out from there and built Penuel. 26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom may return to the house of David: 27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn back to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah.”

Jeroboam sinned against God because he “thought’ the people would rebel against him if he didn’t set up false places for the people to worship. God didn’t tell him to do this. But he was afraid. How many times does fear gain power because we “think” we know what someone will say or what they will do? In this case, Jeroboam gives into fear of the unknown, makes a foolish assumption, and pays for it the rest of his life. A potentially good king goes bad because of fear. Is there anything in your life that you fear because you “think” you know what will happen? Are you willing to compare what you “think” with what God has already “said”? Perhaps your fear will go away. Remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)

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