Weekly Proverb–Fear God not Man
(25) The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
This is a very important and relevant proverb in this present time. There are several things that we can extract from this verse, but for sake of time, I will only cover a few things.
First, the Bible says that “the fear of man bringeth a snare.” The word bringeth is written in the present indicative mood, which means that the fear of man continually brings a snare.
Before we go to some cross-references, let’s do a word study real quickly on the word fear.
חֲרָדָה charadah, khar-aw-daw´; feminine of 2730; fear, anxiety:—care, x exceedingly, fear, quaking, trembling.
The Hebrew word used has several meanings, but the most common are anxiety, exceeding fear, quaking, or trembling. Let’s look up the root word real quickly to get a deeper meaning.
חָרֵד chared, khaw-rade´; from 2729; fearful; also reverential:—afraid, trembling.
Thus, right here in the first part of this verse, the Bible is saying that to be anxious or exceedingly fearful of man continually brings a snare. Let’s do a word study on snare and then we’ll go to some cross-references.
מוֹקֵשׁ mowqesh, mo-kashe´; or מֹקֵשׁ moqesh, mo-kashe´; from 3369; a noose (for catching animals) (literally or figuratively): by implication, a hook (for the nose):—be ensnared, gin, (is) snare(-d), trap.
The Hebrew word used for snare also has many meanings, but the one that makes sense in this contact would be “a hook, or trap”. Thus, what the Bible is saying is that he who is exceeding fearful or anxious of man continually brings himself into a trap. What a thought. Let’s take a look at Genesis 12:11-13.
(11) And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
(12) Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
(13) Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
In this very familiar passage of Scripture, we see that Abram goes down to Egypt (v. 10) due to a famine in the land. In verse 11 and 12, we learn that Abram tells Sarai that because she is a very beautiful woman, the Egyptians will know that Sarai is his wife and they will kill him.
At this moment, we realize that Abram is no longer putting his trust in God. God told him to go to into a “land that I will shew thee”, not Egypt. Abram looked at his circumstances and began to fear man, instead of putting his trust in God.
As a result of his sin, it brought him into a trap. Let’s take a look at verse 17:
(17) And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife.
(18) And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
(19) Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.
(20) And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.
Eventually, in these verses, we see that the LORD plagued Pharaoh with plagues because he was dwelling with Abram’s wife, Sarai. When Pharaoh realized that Sarai was Abram’s wife, he was livid with Abram. In verse 20, he sends Abram away with his wife and all that he had.
All because of one decision to fear man instead of God, Abram was back to square one. Abram could’ve left a good testimony with Pharaoh had he just told the truth, but he feared man more than God and put him in a trap. There was nothing else that Abram could have said or done but leave Egypt.
A New Testament application of this passage in Genesis is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew:
(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.
Jesus said that “fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul…” Pharaoh may or may not have killed Abram if he had told the truth, but if Abram would have put his trust in the Lord, he would have remembered that God promised him that his descendants would be as many as the sands of the sea, which would’ve meant that God would’ve kept him alive until he bore a son. It is amazing how our minds get so cloudy and how we forget God’s promises when we do not put our trust in God and begin to fear man.
In order to avoid the snare, the trap, we must put our trust in the Lord and not fear what man can do unto us.
(10) Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
(14) Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
(31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Psalms 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Psalms 56:11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.
Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
Isaiah 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
We should always put our trust in the Lord. We should never be afraid of man. We should never be afraid to witness, we should never be afraid to preach with boldness and power, we should never be ashamed of the Gospel.
Jeremiah 1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.
(16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.