SPF 111: The Fear of God vs The Fear of Man

Proverbs 29:25 says, The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trust is in the Lord is safe.

What happens when we fear man? Why does fearing the Lord bring freedom and peace into our lives? How do we fear God? Today we are looking at the difference of fearing man verses fearing God and learning the blessedness of allegiance to the Lord of Hosts.

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Allegiance to God

Allegiance to God leads to a freedom from the fear of man.  When our allegiance is to God, then we can rejoice in the Truth even when the world say stop, or we are wrong, or makes fun of us. 

The Fear of Man

Proverbs 29:25 says,

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trust is in the Lord is safe.

Hebrews 13:6 says

โ€œSo we can confidently say, โ€œThe Lord is my helper, I will not fear, what can man do to me?

Psalm 118:6 says,

โ€œThe Lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do to me?โ€

Mathew 10:28 says

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.

Galatians 1:10 says

For am I now seeking the approval of man or of God? Or am I trying to please man? I fI were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Scripture teaches us that a fear of man is a snare and burden to us. It leads to an allegiance to the created rather than the Creator.  Our minds and hearts are to be set on the King of Glory who sits enthroned above. He has saved us from the power of sin and death and we are dead to our selves and made a live in Christ now. 

Our allegiance is now to the King who rescued us! We are loyal to the one who saved us.  We were bought at a price too high for us to pay and now we have freedom - freedom from death, freedom from the power of sin, and freedom from the fear of man!

Fear of God

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools desire wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 8:13

The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil

Ecclesiastes 12:13

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments; for the sis the whole duty of man.

Proverbs 14:27

The fear of the Lord is a foundation of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

Psalm 111:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who practice it have a good understanding.

Proverbs 25:14

The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him and He makes know to them His covenant.

Proverbs 19:23

The fear of the Lord leads to life and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.

When we fear the Lord we have:

  • knowledge

  • hate evil

  • know our purpose and duty in life

  • life and turn from death

  • wisdom and good understanding

  • strong confidence and a refuge

  • friendship with God

  • knowledge of His covenant

  • satisfaction and protection 

Jim Elliot wrote "In reading the Scriptures, I find a great moral power. Therein am I made aware of two great forces for good in human experience: the "fear" of God and the "grace" of God. Without the fear of God, I should not stop at doing evil; the fear of God restrains from evil. Without the grace of God, I should have no desire to approach positive goodness. The one is a deterrent from evil; the other an encouragement to good.โ€

Application

So how can we prove faithful - or show our allegiance to God instead of man?

1. Know the truth and be set free - study the difference between fearing God and fearing man Be equipped with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God so that when we are confused or tempted we have the truth as a plum line to what is good and right. Check out the show notes for the Scripture from todayโ€™s episode. Read through and highlight some words that stick out. Look up the definitions. Memorize one.

2. Repent when we fear man instead of God. Ask God to reveal times you are trusting in man or fearing man instead of Him. And repent. Know the grace of God.

3. Rejoice and give thanks always - it changes our perspective and helps us remember God is God and keeps eternity in the front of our minds and hearts.