12 “Do not call conspiracy
everything that these people call conspiracy;
do not fear what they fear,
and do not dread it.
13 The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy,
he is the one you are to fear,
he is the one you are to dread,
14 and he will be a sanctuary;
but for both houses of Israel he will be
a stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem he will be
a trap and a snare.
15 Many of them will stumble;
they will fall and be broken,
they will be snared and captured.”
16 Bind up the testimony
and seal up the law among my disciples.
17 I will wait for the LORD,
who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob.
I will put my trust in him.
This passage has this very interesting line, which says, “Do not call conspiracy everything these people call conspiracy.” What an interesting phrase, and one that is relevant even to this day. After all, nearly everything you read or see on the news is related to fear in some way, and very often, attributes the cause of this fear as some conspiracy of some kind.
How many times haveyou read that your water is full of lead, and it is a government cover-up. The drug you are taking for your condition is actually making you impotent, but the pharmaceutical companies are not telling you. The plastic bottle of water you are drinking contains materials that might give you cancer. Now, some of these are true, some of them are not, but either way, we feel spooked and fearful – of our water, of our cars, of our cell phones, everything. We shouldn’t underestimate how much fear rules our lives.
But this passage speaks of a greater fear and dread, and that is fear of the Lord, which overshadows all other fears. This seems strange, that fear should drive out other fears, so perhaps an easier way to understand this is not as fearing the Lord, but remembering Him. When we remember the Lord, his eternal character, holiness, power, the other fears of our lives suddenly line up into correct perspective. In other words, we should live wisely, aware of the dangers around us, but always remembering that there is a great God who is larger than all else.
1. What is the thing you fear most in your life? How is God greater than that fear?
2. In what ways can we remember God’s power, holiness, and character?