Proverbs 29: King James Bible
The Fear of Man – Daily Devotion of Proverbs chapter twenty nine, Verse 25
25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
Daily Inspiration from This Verse – The Fear of Man
We can think about the fear of man in the same way we’d consider the fear of the Lord. There are two meanings that would apply to each.
The first would be the more obvious, which would be to fear in a manner akin to dread or or the feeling we get when we can perceive danger. The second would be a reverence as one would fear their parents, yet not be afraid of them. This manner of fear causes us to aim to please and seek approval, rather than run for our lives.
Though both meanings of fear can be attributed toward our reaction to man or God, only one of the two is something that we should partake in. We’re instructed to fear the Father, rather than man.
In my opinion, it’s much easier for us to fear man in both ways. It’s easy to revere someone we can see, hear, observe, and seek approval of. To use the other approach, it is also easier for us to be scared to death over that guy in a hockey mask running toward us with a machete.
The Fear of Man for Approval
Like most things in this wicked world, just because it’s easier doesn’t make it right. We seek approval from men to gain somehow, right? To gain favor of someone we look up to, maybe a promotion… Some kind of gratification that makes us feel good somehow.
Some people go to great lengths to try and make this happen. Some people go too far. Some people have no need for idols of wood and stone, and trade them over for flesh and bone.
What does the Father have to say about this? Well, how about not being a respecter of persons? Or the emphasis that the Father places throughout his Word of being a pleaser of God rather than a pleaser of men?
When we place the Lord first, and genuinely fear him with a reverent awe, do what he says and seek to please him rather than ourselves, all of these things we seek falls into place due to his blessing, rather than our will.
Jesus said to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. He didn’t say seek ye first Peter, Paul, or Mary. Nor did he say to ignore anyone, but to seek the Lord first, before taking things into your own hands, or into someone else’s.
Sometimes the Lord leads us to others to learn a thing or two, because the Lord has filled that person with an anointing to bless you somehow. But that doesn’t mean to set up a shrine for that person in your heart.
We’re to fear the Lord our God, and him only shall we serve.
Fear of Man – Being Scared or Intimidated
As aforementioned, it’s much easier to fear what man can do to us, rather than what the Lord can do. Why? Because we see a guy coming trying to do us harm. Or we can find ourselves in a situation that gives someone the potential to do us harm.
Strolling through a creepy park at night not knowing who’s hiding behind that tree, wearing a MAGA hat in a public place in an inner city, or preaching the gospel to a bunch of people who don’t look like the types to receive it well, are three different forms of fear that we tend to give power to.
The first is a fear of our lives. Who’s gonna get me, and will I see it coming? Strolling through that park at night is the example I used above, because in some places that’s a real danger. People get mugged, raped, or murdered, by taking popular shortcuts through parks at night.
I used wearing a MAGA hat in a populated area of an inner city, because it is a dangerous thing to do. Yes it sounds insane, because it is, but is no less the truth. People have been beaten, and have had their property destroyed, because of a hat.
Because of this, people who wouldn’t think twice about wearing a Red Sox hat in Boston, wouldn’t wear a MAGA hat due to fear of what someone who doesn’t like it might do. As far as Boston is concerned, the second most dangerous thing you could wear on your head is a Yankees cap, but I digress.
The third example is also a very real thing to fear if we observe the trends of the day. That would be proclaiming the gospel to what would appear to be the wrong crowd. The problem with that is, the wrong crowd is the right crowd, or the ones who need Jesus the most.
Those are they who need a physician but are staunch against the doctor because they don’t know him. A crowd who has believed the lies of this world about the Lord, and are either hostile toward his precepts or angry at him whether they know it or not.
For someone who feels led to preach the gospel, this can be a tough crowd. In recent memory, I’ve received reports of folks being spat upon, beat up, stabbed, and needless to say insulted. Some people have a tendency to keep their mouths shut concerning the Father and the gospel so as to not have to deal with their friends or family turning on them, or thinking differently about them.
So there are three legitimate, relevant, and crippling reasons to fear man. But is it right? Of course the actions aren’t right, but is it right to fear these kinds of situations rather than use boldness in the Lord, having no fear, and moving through the wisdom of the Spirit of the Lord?
Being foolhardy is just stupid in any circumstance, but being confident in the Father is faith. Not fearing man and fearing the Father only doesn’t mean to purposefully throw ourselves into dangerous situations so the Lord can get us out of them.
Back to the park example. If it’s wiser to go around rather than cut through the dangerous dark areas of the park, then take the time and go around. Unless for some reason the Lord instructs you to take the shortcut.
The more we come to understand just how real and present the Father actually is, and the more we understand what he’s like and get a good handle of his nature, we tend to fear all the less, because the Father is love. Love casteth out all fear.
Run the race without fearing what man can do to the body. If we’re being obedient to the Lord, and following his will, what’s man going to do? Threaten us with an eternity of the Lord’s favor? Oh I’m so scared…
Once we put things into proper perspective, that the Father is everything and man is nothing, it becomes much easier to fear the Father rather than man no matter how you’d tend to define it. If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, then the fear of man is the beginning of foolishness.
Related New Testament Scripture
Matthew 8: King James Bible
26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
Matthew 10: King James Bible
25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? 26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Luke 1: King James Bible
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. 51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
Romans 8: King James Bible
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
2 Timothy 1: King James Bible
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Hebrews 4: King James Bible
1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Hebrews 13: King James Bible
6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
1 John 4: King James Bible
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us.
Thank you for everything. For your Word, your willingness to share your wisdom through your Spirit, your ever presence among us, and your care for your children. Help us in a meaningful and tangible way, to truly understand every reason why we should not fear man, and to understand times where we do so without realizing it. Please mature us in this area of our lives, so that we are pleasers of you, our Father, rather than man pleasers. And so that we fear the one who has the power to cast our body and soul into an eternity of hell, rather than man who’s life is as a vapor. All this Lord so that we serve you better, and only you. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we pray.
Do you tend to partake in the fear of man one way or the other?
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 14 P.171 – A Wise Man Feareth
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 22 P. 334 – Slain in the Streets
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs P.10 – Knowledge of God
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 29 P. 473 – Favor of a Ruler
- Daily Inspiration from Proverbs 20 P. 296 – Spirit of Man