“I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.” NIV
So, I’m still working through the list of “fear nots” in my King James concordance. The NIV doesn’t actually say “fear not” very often, but, I’ve found that almost everywhere the KJV says “fear not,” the NIV says something about fear or panic or stress, and the Message says something about worry.
This morning, the listing in my concordance for Judges 6:10 said, “fear not the Gods of the Amorites.” I thought to myself, “that would be an interesting thing to look at — because other gods don’t come close to the power and glory of the one true God, so, I’ll take a look at that. Maybe someone was worried about a threat from someone else.” Threats are almost always worrisome.
Turns out, this verse is at the beginning of the story of Gideon. The Israelites have again done evil in the sight of the Lord, and He has turned them over to the Midianites for seven years, which have been just awful. The people have cried out to God in their misery, and God sends a prophet to them who reminds them of the salvation that the Lord provided from Egypt, and that the land of Canaan had been handed over to them, and he ends his speech with this verse. When I first read the NIV translation, I thought, “this really isn’t talking about worry at all.”
But, then I looked at the Message, which translates it, “And I said to you, ‘I am God, your God. Don’t for a minute be afraid of the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living.’ But you didn’t listen to me.”
That’s such a powerful verse, and so applicable to me right now. This is a message that I really need to hear and assimilate. I have nothing to fear … God, my God, is with me. I need to stay focused on that and not to worry about the things that are going on here in the land where I am living. I am going to be one who listens to God.