It has often been said, “If you fear God, you need not fear anyone else.”
Jesus himself warned us,
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
And that’s what you see in these people. People who knew who to fear. Not kings or rulers or anyone else, but God.
More they knew that if they did not put their trust in God, nothing and no one would be able to protect them from his wrath.
Moses’ parents feared God, and so even though the Pharaoh commanded that all Hebrew babies be killed, they hid their son. And when they could do so no longer, they left him in God’s hands, and God honored them for it.
Moses could have led a comfortable life as a prince of Egypt, the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. But out of his fear for God, he left it all behind, and was willing to suffer reproach and abuse for the sake of Christ. All the pleasures of this life, he knew, would mean nothing if his relationship was not right with God. More, he knew that by following God, he would find true reward, a reward that is eternal.
And so he left Egypt with the people of God, not fearing Pharaoh’s wrath. He also showed fear for God by keeping the Passover, and because he and the Jews did so, they were spared the death of their firstborn. The Egyptians, secure in their own faith on the other hand, found that they had feared the wrong gods. Even Pharaoh himself lost his son.
Because the Israelites feared God, they could pass through the Red Sea unharmed. The Egyptians, however, feared the sea and their Pharaoh even more than that, and drowned as a result.
Because the Israelites feared God, they took Jericho by following what others would have called a futile plan, marching around a city for 7 days, blowing their horns.
And while the rest of the residents of Jericho put their trust in their walls, Rahab refused to do so. She feared God and protected the spies that had come into the city. So while the rest of the people in Jericho were killed, Rahab and her family were spared.
The long and short of all this is, “Who do you fear?” And “Who will you put your trust in?”
If we trust in our money to protect us, our government, or our own abilities and skills, and we fail to trust God above all, when judgment day comes, all those things will prove to be futile to save us.
If we fear people and what they can do to us instead of God, we may preserve our lives but lose our souls for all eternity.
But if we fear and trust God, we will find favor with him, and he will reward us.
Who do you trust? Who do you fear?