"TRAPPED BY FEAR"
Intro. We are living in a time of fear. The Islam terrorists are at war against the Jews and the whole Western culture. We have finally awakened to the reality of this war. And finally realized that Israel is not the only target. It has been going on for many years but we have for the most part ignored it. The downing of the Pan Am flight over Scotland was an act of war. The bombing of our Embassies in Africa was another attack against us. The car bomb that killed so many Marines in Lebanon, the attempt to bring down the World Trade Center with a car bomb. The whole purpose of terror is to debilitate and demoralize your enemy through fear. The World Trade towers are no more. People are afraid to fly. We are being warned of the possibility of other acts of terrorism, such as the poisoning of our water supply, or chemical or biological attacks. Even the possibility of a nuclear attack from within the U.S. with a bomb hid in a suit case. The Islam extremists, and they number into the hundreds of
thousands, have vowed to first get the Saturday worshippers, then the Sunday worshippers. Can you imagine the shock of these terrorists who when they blow themselves up, or are killed in a Jihad, wake up in hell and find that there are not 70 virgins waiting for them chained to 70 beds? There is much to inspire fear in our world today, but God tells us to fear not.
I. IN THIS CHAPTER WE SEE DAVID FILLED WITH FEAR.
A. In verse 10, he is afraid of Saul, and so he flees to the Philistine city of Gath.
B. The people of Gath remember that David had killed their hero Goliath, and when he is called to come before Achish the king of Gath. We read that David feared king Achish.
C. What causes us to be afraid?
1. We fear when we lose the awareness of the presence of God in our lives.
2. It seems that God's cure for fear was always to remind the people of His presence with them.
a. Abraham's son Isaac was being given a bad time by the people of the land, every time he would dig a well, they would come and drive him off and claim the well as their own.
b. Finally he came to Beersheba where he dug a well,
And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I [am] with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake.
c. David encouraged Solomon his son saying:
Be strong and of good courage,: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, [even] my God, [will be] with you; he will not fail you, or forsake you.
d. The Ammonites, Moabites, and Edomites had all come together against Judah and the prophet Jahaziel came to king Jehoshaphat saying:
Ye shall not [need] to fight in this [battle]: set yourselves, stand ye [still], and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD [will be] with you.
e. The Lord encouraged the people through the prophet Isaiah saying:
Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
3. Paul asked, "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
a. You need to remember that you who have put your trust in Jesus are His child, the sheep of His pasture.
b. Nothing can come against you except He has allowed it to come against you.
c. If He has allowed it, then He has a good purpose for allowing it.
d. Thus I do not need to fear, though the mountains be removed and cast into the middle of the sea.
II. SOLOMON, DAVID'S SON, WROTE, "THE FEAR OF MAN IS A SNARE OR TRAP."
A. It is interesting how there are so many who have no fear of God, but their lives are trapped because of the fear of man.
B. The fear of man will cause people to sin.
1. Pilate admitted that having examined Jesus, he found no fault in Him, and he was determined to let Jesus go free until he was threatened by the priests that if he let Jesus go, he was not a friend of Caesar. And for fear of a bad report being sent to Caesar, he gave Jesus over to be crucified.
2. When Saul tried to explain to Samuel why he had not kept the commandment of the Lord, to utterly destroy the Amalekites he said:
1 SA 15:24
I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.
3. For the fear of a young maiden and the soldiers standing by, Peter denied his Lord three times.
C. Many people have been trapped because of the fear of man.
1. We think of that great man Abraham, the fear of man caused him to deny that Sarah was his wife, and to pass her off as his sister. He even allowed her to go into the kings harem.
a. We might say that the fear of man will cause great men to do foolish things.
2. In our text, David that mighty man of war of whom the women in Israel sang of his exploits, for fear of Saul fled to Achish, and for fear of Achish, acted like a mad man. He scrabbled at the gate and let his spit run down his beard. Here is mighty David acting like a fool because of the fear of man.
3. Elijah that mighty prophet of God, after destroying the prophets of Baal we find him running and hiding because he feared that woman Jezebel.
D. The fear of man has kept many people from salvation.
1. There are multitudes in hell today because of the fear of man.
2. They wanted to go forward and accept Jesus as their Savior, but they were afraid of what their friends might say or think if they heard that they had got religion.
3. The fear of being mocked or ridiculed has kept multitudes from the kingdom of heaven.
4. Thus the fear of man has kept them trapped in sin.
III. THE CURE FOR FEAR.
A. We have already covered the awareness of God's presence with me.
1. David later said: "Ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me."
B. The cure is to put your trust in the Lord.
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. I have put my trust in God; I will not fear what flesh can do to me.
2. In Proverbs 29:25
Solomon said: The fear of man is a snare: but, whosoever will put his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
3. Fear and faith are mutually exclusive. If you fear, you do not have faith, if you have faith, you will not fear.
C. We are told that love casts out all fear, John wrote:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He who fears is not yet been made perfect in love.
1. You need to know how much your heavenly Father loves you.
2. Jesus said that your heavenly Father is aware of every sparrow that falls to the ground, are you not worth more that many sparrows?
IV. IN THE DAYS AHEAD WE WILL NO DOUBT HEAR MANY TROUBLING REPORTS AS THIS WAR AGAINST TERRORISM GETS UNDER WAY.
A. There are many things that will strike fear in the hearts of people.
1. When Jesus was talking about the last days He said: "Men's hearts would fail them for fear of the things that are coming upon the earth."
2. Listen again to the words of David after his relationship with God developed.
The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked, [even] mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this [will] I [be] confident.