The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.Proverbs 29:25(NASB)
There are many pressures in life that make us fearful, and all too often it is fear that causes man to seek to escape life's problems through ungodly means. If anxiety or worry causes a man to be controlled or restricted by his circumstances, or if he seeks to escape the consequences of life's pressures by committing some sort of evil act, then that man sets a trap for himself. He becomes embroiled in his own wrong responses. However, the Word of God gives a wonderful reassurance that the one who trusts the LORD is safe and secure.
Many passages in the Word of God give a believer encouragement and reassurances, but they often come in the form of contrasts:- sinners and the saved; death and life; darkness and light; carnal and spiritual; unbelief and trust. Here the book of Proverbs the little word but peppers its pages with many such glorious contrasts. One verse reads, "The fear of man brings a snare, BUT he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted".
This little verse had a depth of meaning and much to teach us because it describes a problem - 'the fear of man'... yet concludes with the 'grace principle' - "but the Lord..." The outcome for the fear of man is a snare that entraps the soul and results in disappointment and deep despair. However, the opposite of fear is faith - which ironically is sometimes called ' the fear of the Lord.
As the fear of man and dread of circumstances increases, so faith in the Lord decreases. But as faith stands firm on the promises of God so fear is dispelled. When faith in God is practiced, fear is snuffed out like a candle and vaporises like the morning mist. The result of trusting the Lord and reverencing His holy name brings with it exaltation and joy.
There is a world of difference between the ungodly 'fear of man' and godly 'fear of the Lord'. Reverence for the Lord brings with it wisdom and strength, hope and joy... while esteem for fallen man too often entraps the soul and is accompanied by anxiety and worry. How important to take this warning in Proverbs to heart: "fear of man is a snare while trusting the LORD brings praise."
Placing trust in anyone other than the Lord, brings in its wake problems and pain, disappointments and despair. However, 'honouring the Lord is the beginning of wisdom' and we have the assurance that the man who trusts in Him will be lifted up and receive many blessings.
The fear of man often comes when trying to be a 'people pleaser' instead of honouring the Lord and pleasing Him. The Bible teaches that you cannot reverence God and man at the same time, and Paul addresses this issue in Galatians when he asks, "Am I now seeking the favour of men, or of God? Am I striving to please men or the Lord?" And in Psalm 56, the writer shows that fear of man evaporates when we place our trust and confidence in the Lord. "In God I have put my trust,", he declares. "I shall not be afraid! What can man do to me?"
In every situation in which we find ourselves and in each life-problem we meet, we have irrefutable assurance in God's Word that He is able and willing to deliver those that trust in the name of His only begotten Son - our Saviour Jesus Christ. Fear is a dangerous emotion that entangles man in deep, dark problems, and fear is also a favourite tool that is used by the enemy... who seeks to bring saved men down into the 'Slough of Despond' and entrap them in the 'Pit of Despair'.. and which can cause a believer to doubt the veracity of God's Word and the truth of Scripture.
Never forget that somewhere in the Bible there is always a resounding, 'BUT GOD...' Never allow any fear that is being conceived in your mind to be birthed into a terror that destroys the inner peace that God gives to those that love Him. Rather, be quick to abort any evil broodings, as soon as they come to mind, by setting the eyes of your heart on the face of the Lord Jesus and taking those thoughts captive to Christ.
Our God of grace and peace, in Whom we trust, has promised us all temporal, spiritual and eternal mercies. Remember, it is fear of man that spawns death and dis-ease BUT the one who trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ... honours the Father in heaven and brings life and rel-ease.
Thank You Father for Your many beautiful promises of 'contrast'. I begin to understand more and more that there is nothing in life that should cause me to fear. Thank You that You have promised to be with me in every circumstance of life and have given us an assurance that Your grace is sufficient to counter every fear in my heart. Keep me looking to Jesus and trusting in His precious promises. I pray that on those occasions when doubts and fear arise within, that Your Spirit will prompt me to turn my thoughts away from the fear of man and onto trust in You, in Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.