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January 12 – The fear of man 

“The highways lie waste; the traveler ceases. Covenants are broken; cities are despised; there is no regard for man.” – Isaiah 33:8 

Scripture reading: 2 Kings 18:19-37

This is related to the “bitter weeping” of verse 7. The rejection of the tribute is not only a shot against hopefulness, but a breaking of a covenant. The tribute was commanded, with the promise of withdrawal. Not only did Sennacherib refuse to withdraw his forces, but he pressed further, sending his announcers to taunt the Jews. He pressed against the cities and crushed them with little effort.

So the highways lie in waste and no one travels out of fear. Here is an enemy who does not care about human life. Here is an enemy who has no honour. There appear to be no limits to his wicked cruelty.

We should not live our lives in fear of our great enemies. We should not fear man (Proverbs 29:25). True, our enemies have no regard for man either. But if we fear the Lord, we will fear nothing else. We will continue to worship, work, and enjoy God and His creation, no matter the threats of the enemies.

Have you stopped short of serving the Lord in fear of how unbelievers might react? If we give in to the fear of man, it will stifle our God-glorifying service. Christ has given you a spirit of power, not fear. Trust Him to protect you.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for courage from the Lord to continue serving Him despite the pressures of the fear of man.

Rev. Todd De Rooy currently serves in Redeemer URC, in Orange City, Iowa. He has served there since being ordained in 2008. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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