The Fear of Man; April 21, 2022

Proverbs 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

This is a timeless truth indeed. Verses 10 and 27 in this chapter mention how people who aren’t submitted to God are “out to get” those who are, but that’s still not reason to fear them. The past two years have been quite an example of this. The spread of COVID was used as an excuse by some to control others, cutting them off from one another in various ways, because isolation brings weakness. Recovery from that has been uneven across the world, but as I write, the mask mandate for public transportation in the US has just been struck down by a judge with common sense, and the videos that popped up of the reaction of crews and passengers on planes in flight when it was announced speak volumes. Meanwhile, the situation in Shanghai is tragic almost beyond description. Mankind is capable of incredible stupidity and cruelty, often at the same time. It is when those who are submitted first to God refuse to submit to tyranny, whatever label it bears, that things change. It has been astounding to see America, “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” submit so quickly and easily, but thankfully America seems to be waking up. Other countries don’t have the same traditions and framework, but there is hope there as well. The big issue hasn’t been the virus itself so much as the opinions of others if you don’t “toe the line.” All the protestations of “follow the science” were used as excuses to ignore the genuine science, actively suppressing various therapeutics that could probably have saved many, many lives, all for the sake of political control. As this verse says, the fear of man is a snare! Those who know God need to be active in trusting and obeying Him above all else.

Naturally this applies to me. Japan hasn’t had as many legal (or illegal) mandates as America, but social pressure is extremely strong in this society. Conformity is seen as a very high value. I have run into some strong reactions because of declining to get the mRNA shots, but that’s not something people can tell just by looking at me. I carry a mask and use it in stores, simply to avoid offending needlessly, but I don’t wear one outdoors, though many do. There are other issues that are actually more serious. I have failed to share the Gospel at times because of fearing an adverse reaction. That’s certainly listening to the devil! I am to decline the fear of man in all its various forms and indeed trust God fully, being obedient to Him for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. The fear of man indeed takes many different forms. Help me recognize them all and submit only to You, so that Your purposes many be accomplished in and through me for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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