The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 8 October 2019 – Fear No Fear
TOPIC: Fear No Fear
READ: Jeremiah 26:1-24 King James Version (KJV)
- In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the Lord , saying,
- “Thus says the Lord : ‘Stand in the court of the Lord ’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord ’s house, all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word.
- Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings.’
- And you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord : “If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before you,
- to heed the words of My servants the prophets whom I sent to you, both rising up early and sending them (but you have not heeded),
- then I will make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.” ’ ”
- So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord .
- Now it happened, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying, “You will surely die!
- Why have you prophesied in the name of the Lord , saying, ‘This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without an inhabitant’?” And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the Lord .
- When the princes of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the Lord and sat down in the entry of the New Gate of the Lord ’s house.
- And the priests and the prophets spoke to the princes and all the people, saying, “This man deserves to die! For he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears.”
- Then Jeremiah spoke to all the princes and all the people, saying: “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city with all the words that you have heard.
- Now therefore, amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; then the Lord will relent concerning the doom that He has pronounced against you.
- As for me, here I am, in your hand; do with me as seems good and proper to you.
- But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will surely bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city, and on its inhabitants; for truly the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.”
- So the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man does not deserve to die. For he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.”
- Then certain of the elders of the land rose up and spoke to all the assembly of the people, saying:
- “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, And the mountain of the temple Like the bare hills of the forest.”
- ’ Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah ever put him to death? Did he not fear the Lord and seek the Lord ’s favor? And the Lord relented concerning the doom which He had pronounced against them. But we are doing great evil against ourselves.”
- Now there was also a man who prophesied in the name of the Lord , Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath Jearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah.
- And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid and fled, and went to Egypt.
- Then Jehoiakim the king sent men to Egypt: Elnathan the son of Achbor, and other men who went with him to Egypt.
- And they brought Urijah from Egypt and brought him to Jehoiakim the king, who killed him with the sword and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.
- Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, so that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.
The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else, wrote Earnest Becker in his book, The Denial of Death. Thanatophobia the fear of death – can compel a man to confess the sins he has not committed because no one hears of his imminent death and will not be afraid. But this was not going to be the case with Jeremiah. He communicated the word of God without giving consideration to any negative reaction. Eventually, he would not die as the Princes and all the people convinced the people against their earlier plan (verse 16).
Some among us today cannot open their mouths to share the gospel because they are choked with anxiety over what people might think. Many will remain silent in a just cause while shrinking from the repercussions of speaking out. Many Priests have rejected their postings on account of imaginary fear that does not exist anywhere. And there are others who dread rejection so much that it keeps them from living up to their own convictions. Of all, the fear of men seems to be the greatest fear of men of God. Fear is the opposite of faith. But none of the two can accommodate the other as the presence of one signals the disappearance of the other.
PRAYER: Lord, give me faith that dispels fear.