“Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear and do not dread it.” NIV
In this, the next verse on the “fear not” list, God is speaking to Isaiah, and it appears to be an urgent message. When I go back to the preceding verse, it says, “God spoke strongly to me, grabbed me with both hands and warned me not to go along with this people.” MSG
I can’t imagine what that would be like. In 2010, you don’t hear people referring to God this way very often. I wonder why that is. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So, if it is not God who has changed, how have we changed that these personal encounters are either less frequent, less powerful or less documented?
I felt like God spoke to me, once. I was very worried about a situation. This woman was making a speech, and she was trying to worry her audience. Having done some public speaking myself, I can imagine what she was seeing. With each frightening sentence, as she was describing what in her words seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle, I am certain that she could see in the eyes of her listeners a panoply of reactions ranging from surprise to fear to hopelessness. I know that is what she saw in mine.
In the years since, I have often wondered about her motivation. Everyone in that class needed to climb that hill successfully. What did she gain by making it seem so hard to do?
So, as I sat there, in the midst of her speech, I said to myself, “This cannot be done.” And, immediately, out of nowhere, a very confident voice spoke in my head and in my heart. It said, “This is my plan.” That’s it. No more. No less. Just four words. But, so powerful!
I knew those words didn’t come from me. I believed the woman. The hill could not be climbed. But, God had a plan.
This morning, as I read this verse, the phrase, “don’t fear what they fear, don’t take on their worries,” (MSG) is the one that sticks out for me.
Perhaps, that woman herself had feared the obstacle. Perhaps she wanted the class to fear what she feared, and to take on her worries. But for God’s intervention, she would have succeeded in at least one case.
I wonder how many other times in my life, I have feared what others told me was frightening, or taken on the worries of others.
I don’t want to do that.
This chapter goes on to talk about the fear of the Lord … and, I think, keeping things in perspective.
I’m really going to think about that today.