Fear: The Forgetting of God part 4


You shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt…
…So will the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. Moreover, the LORD your God will send hornets among them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you are destroyed. (Deuteronomy 7:18-20)

We have already seen that for fear to be vanquished, God must be added to our thinking. And so Moses taught us to remember what the LORD our God has done. But Moses knows that thoughts about God’s actions in the past are not enough. I’m sure we could all imagine a particularly pessimistic Israelite coming up to Moses and saying, “Moses, sir, it is all well and good you reminding us of what God did in Egypt. But that was then. We’re not in Egypt anymore. What does that have to do with our situation now? Who is to say that God will help us now?”

That is the issue, isn’t it? Our fear isn’t backward looking; it is concerned with the future. The Israelites weren’t afraid of Egypt in their past. They were afraid of Canaan in their future.

And so Moses moves in his sermon from God’s actions in the past to God’s actions in the future. He says, “Remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt… (That was the important backwards look. Now notice the change from past to future) So will the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.”

God will do to the Canaanites what He did to Egypt. That is encouraging. But how can Moses be so confident? What is the connection between God’s past and future actions?

The answer is God’s promises. Moses tells us in Deuteronomy 7:8 that God acted in Egypt because of His promise.

it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 7:8)

The Israelites knew the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They knew the promise God had made. And so they should have known that the redemption from Egypt was only part of the oath. That same oath also promised Israel’s possession of the Promised Land. Therefore, if God is to be faithful to His oath, He must act in the future like He did in the past.

Do you see the connection between God’s past actions and His future ones? They are bound together by promises. In our struggle with fear, we need to add God to our thoughts about the future. We do this by looking at the future through the lens of His promises.

What part does God play in your thoughts about the future? What promises of God are relevant to your present struggle with fear?

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