There’s fighting words. And then there’s fighting actions.
There are times when you have to really get ready to fight. And this is something, as you know, many don’t really understand what that was like, because we’re so modernized.
But in Biblical times, this was very real.
This week’s Torah (Bible) portion, Devarim (Deuteronomy), ends with a message from Moshe (Moses) to his successor, Yehoshua (Joshua).
Joshua will take the people into the land and lead them in battles for its conquest.
Moses says, fear them not for the God, He shall fight for you.
Let’s look at the actual words in the portion, where the word “fear” is mentioned.
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The first one is Deuteronomy 1:17 and it says, “you shall not favor persons in judgment. Rather, you shall hear the small, just as the great, you shall not fear any man for the judgment is upon the Lord, and the case that is too difficult for you bring to me and I will hear it.”
Okay. So, you know, you can either be afraid of men or you can be afraid of God.
Here, God is saying, administer the justice system fearlessly.
It continues to be relevant.
Look what happened recently with that judge in the Epstein case, right?
The FedEx driver shows up and basically kills her family.
Interfering with the justice system is an unfortunate tactic used by evil people, and it keeps on happening.
Here, God says, no matter what, you must have fair justice.
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The next time we see the word “fear” is verse 19, referring to the journey through the “fearful desert.”
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And then verse 21: “Behold, the Lord, your God has set the land before you go up and possess it as the Lord, God of your fathers has spoken to you. You shall neither fear nor be dismayed.”
So Moses is saying, do not be afraid of them.
And this is really important if you think about contemporary times.
A lot of people are afraid they’re going to lose their jobs, be deplatformed, lose their bank accounts, lose their families for speaking the truth.
But when you’re in the right, you’re in the right: Do not be afraid, do not let fear run your life. They live off your fear.
(Of course, when your life or life of your loved ones is in danger, it is also rational to take self-protective measures.)
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Chapter two, verse 25.
“Today, I will begin to put the dread of you and the fear of you upon the nations that are under the entire heaven, who will hear reports of you and shake and be in trepidation because of you.”
This is an amazing thing; just think about this. Think about this tiny nation, and how these monsters are going to be afraid of the Jews.
Why though? The Jews are puny in comparative size and strength.
The fear comes from the fact that God is with them.
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“And the Lord said to me, do not fear….him for, I have given him, all his people and his land into your hand, and….you shall do to him as you did to (the) King of the Amorites.”
THE BOTTOM LINE
The fear doesn’t go away, even though you’re told not to be afraid.
All you can do is fear God and not man, and follow the laws He set forth, with an emphasis on a fair system of earthly justice.
As the famous book says: “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
By Dr. Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal. All opinions are the author’s own. Photo by jaefrench via Pixabay.