I. THERE WERE MANY THINGS GOING ON THAT WOULD CREATE FEAR.
A. There had been a breakdown in the governmental processes, and there were roving gangs of thugs that seemed to rule the streets.
1. There had been a general turning away from God in the nation.
2. The laws of God had been set aside, and man was trying to rule without the help of God.
3. This filtered down to the people and thus it had become a society without morals.
a. People found it hard to maintain their businesses because there was so much dishonesty. They were ignoring God's law against bearing false witness and nobody's word could be trusted.
b. The abundance of pornography created a heightened sexual stimulation, thus immorality was everywhere. God's laws against fornication and adultery were being ignored.
c. Naturally with this kind of climate, you had many unwanted pregnancies, so they were throwing the unwanted babies into bonfires prepared for that purpose. They were thus disobeying the command of God not to murder.
d. There was no respect for God or fear of God among the people. They for practical purposes were atheists for they did not believe in a God that they were accountable to. If polled they would have declared a belief in God, however they lived as though He did not exist. They had broken the first commandment, Thou shalt not have any other gods before Me.
4. With the laws of God set aside, all you are left with are the laws of man.
a. Look at the vast contrast, God was able to lay the foundation for society with ten basic commandments. Then man took over and added the mishna, and then the Talmud, and now you have volumes of interpretations.
b. Look how complicated the legislative system has become in the U.S. today. We do not want to live by God's laws, we will make our own laws.
c. When you have laws made by the most part by ungodly men and being enforced by the most part by ungodly men, you have a fearful situation.
B. It is a fearful thing to live in a society that set has set aside the laws of God.
1. It is dangerous to go out in the streets.
2. It is dangerous to stay at home.
3. The laws many times offer more protection for the guilty than for the innocent. Thus with no fear of the law and no fear of God, men become violent and they seek to rule by force. He who has the greater force rules.
4. Why am I so shocked at how totally brutal and cruel man can be. I read of crimes and atrocities, that I cannot relate to. I cannot conceive how a man can treat his fellow man in such a way.
C. To people living in such a society God said, "Fear not."
II. THE ENCOURAGEMENT NOT TO FEAR IS GIVEN TO HIS SERVANTS.
A. The only hope for survival in a society that has broken down morally is to serve God.
1. The obligation of the servant to the master.
a. Unquestioned obedience.
b. This would be very difficult if I did not know that my master loved me, and had only my best interest at heart.
2. The obligation of the master to the servant was to take care of his food, clothing, and shelter.
B. If you are serving God, you can trust in Him to take care of you.
1. We are told to cast all of our cares on Him for He cares for you.
2. Jesus said, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow." Your Father clothes them. "Consider the birds of the air." Your Father feeds them. If he clothes the lilies, and feeds the birds, He will surely take care of you.
C. Fear shows an absolute lack of trust in God.
D. How hard it is to live in fear. Story of man crossing the iced over river.
E. Are you God's servant? Then the commandment of your Master is to fear not.
III. THE PROMISES THAT SHOULD DISPEL FEAR.
A. I will save you.
1. How many times we are sure that we are going to drown. But He has promised to save us.
2. Now a promise is only as good as the one who made it.
a. If I were drowning and a little 5 year old would come swimming up to me and say, "Don't worry, I will save you." I would still be worried.
b. But if a strong life guard would come up to me and say, "Don't worry just grab hold of the buoy and I will swim you into shore." I would feel relieved.
3. Who is saying to them, "Fear not"?
4. Who is saying to you, "Fear not"?
B. I am with you.
1. David said, "The Lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do unto me?"
2. Again David said, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me."
3. The sense of the presence of God with us will dispel all fears.
4. The problem is that in the times of stress, we often lose consciousness of His presence.
C. How often in times of great danger or stress have I found comfort in the fact that God was with me.