Summary: A continuing look at the enemies of faith. This week looking at fear using the pictures of the Shield of Faith and the Shield of Fear.
ENEMIES OF FAITH: FEAR
We have been studying “Faith” and its victory - we looked at one of the enemies of faith – “The Divided Mind” today we look at another, “Fear”. In this study we will in particular be looking at the shield of faith and the shield of fear.
THE SHIELD OF FAITH AND THE SHIELD OF FEAR
2 Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind
THE SPIRIT OF FEAR
Fear as defined from the original Greek means timidity, dread, faithless: fearful - timidity = subject to fear; easily alarmed. Lacking in boldness or self-confidence even when there is no danger present
So fear causes us to lose faith in God – it is an intimidating spirit as revealed in the confrontation of Goliath and Israel
1 Samuel 17:1-11 Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered together at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines. The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him. Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, "Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us." And the Philistine said, "I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together." When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
The meanings of the Hebrew names are important here in order to understand the conflict taking place:
Sochoh means to entwine, i.e. shut in (for formation, protection or restraint):--fence, (make an) hedge (up) - Judah means to use the hand; physically, to throw (a stone, an arrow) at or away; especially to revere or worship (with extended hands); cast (out), (make) confess(-ion), praise, shoot, (give) thanks - Azekah means fence about - Ephes Dammim means boundary of blood-drops - Valley means dale, vale, valley - between them, gorge from its lofty sides; hence exaltation; arrogance:--lifting up, pride - Elah means an oak or other strong tree, strength; hence anything strong; mighty
Before we go any further lets understand the mindset Israel should have had as they faced the Philistines. They should have been encircled or hedged in by their praise and confession of God and know that His shed blood had set a boundary around them against the enemy – in other words they should have been full of faith.
Now let’s look at some more names to see what caused the Israelites to fear and run:
Philistines’ means to roll wallow in self - Goliath means a man of intervention, a man who is a go-between - to make naked or bare; strip, to reveal: bring, into captivity, depart, disclose, uncover - Gath means a wine-press or vat for holding the grapes in pressing them
The understanding of this is that through a spirit of fear Goliath – caused the Israelites to feel naked just as Adam did after his sin – uncovering brings fear – they should have felt hedged in or guarded by God but Goliaths tactics made the Israelites centre on their own survival instead of looking to God causing them to be pressed in emotionally. It was in the winepress Gethsemane that Jesus sweat great drops of blood as He struggled with His will.
Goliath challenged the Israelite army saying “Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, "Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us." And the Philistine said, "I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together."