SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2
Scripture: Matthew 2:19-23
The second New Testament place that the subject of fear appears is in Matthew 2:19-23. This passage says, “Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.’ Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’” Here we see fear can be healthy and productive because it is verified by the angel. Fear served as a warning saying, ‘Don’t go reside there because that ruler will take note and will come after your Son. In this instance fear worked as a warning of what not to do and Joseph paid attention and as a result protected the life of Jesus toward God’s ultimate purpose. The angel in effect said initially to Joseph, ‘Don’t be afraid of that, for marrying Mary is the will of God. In this situation the angel said, ‘Yes, be afraid of that and walk this journey out protecting your family. Here fear became an agent of direction toward the will of God. Fear has to be discerned. Each time fear is present it can be either an agent of salvation or it can be an agent of compromise placing us in jeopardy. Fear can be a tool of the enemy to cripple or a tool of the Spirit to direct. The Holy Spirit has to be the Interpreter of the fears we face. Wow! There is no yardstick. We have to let God be God and the Holy Spirit has to interpret fear when it comes.