Deuteronomy 8:15 - "Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;" The word terrible here means fearful. It was a fearful wilderness. It is the same word used for fear in Hebrew.
But why did God lead them there? It should have been 11 days journey from Horeb to the border of Caanan. (Some say a different number of days, but point is, it was a short period of time)
We have the answer in Deuteronomy 8:16- "... that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;"
The word humble in Hebrew means - to make to submit,
The word prove means - to test.
The word “good” in Hebrew means - “make well, sound, beautiful, make whole, happy, successful, make accepted, to be content”,
And in the end means - “in the future.”
You see it was for their good! He brought them through that fearful and dreadful wilderness for their own good! They were indeed in danger, but He told them over and over not to fear, because He was going to be with them and would never leave them and if they had faith/trust in Him, then He would provide everything they needed; plus more, and He would lay their enemies at their feet.
Fear was their problem and it is ours!
We are on a fear-inspiring journey through this life, but if we will submit to Him and pass this test, He will make us whole and content; in the end.
Listen, to have faith does not mean you will always live in peace and tranquility, but it means that you believe that God is faithful to keep His promises under any and every circumstance and situation.
The simple definition of fear is : An emotion produced by a threat perceived.
In Hebrew the word for fear, “yawray” (H3372) is a root word, which means to be afraid, to dread, but the same word also means “to revere or reverence.” (As in we are to fear the LORD)
Symptoms of fear (from Bible scriptures and from any psychology website): dread (apprehension), lack of courage, terror (extreme fear), discouragement, causes anguish (severe mental or physical pain or suffering-in other words causes sickness physically or mentally), anger or outbursts of anger, become oppressed (come under harsh or authoritative rule), anxiety, depression, mood swings, hopelessness, agitation, worry, misery, loss of confidence, insomnia or over-sleeping, feelings of despair, panic attacks, suicide, loss of confidence, COMPLAINING.
I want to tell you that we always accuse the Israelites of rebelling against God, and they did, but I believe their COMPLAINING/MURMURING and ultimate disobedience, was a symptom of their fear. Despite all of the miracles performed, they were never able to overcome their fear of the wilderness, their fear of the “giants” in the journey.
When did their fear begin on the journey?
At the very beginning! Read Exodus 14:10-13. It happened at the Red Sea Crossing upon seeing Pharaoh. Notice their words about dying in the wilderness and Moses telling them not to be afraid.
It happened again in Exodus 20:18-20 when at Mt. Sinai. The Word said that, "He has come to test (prove) you" and also the fear factor is repeated once again. It is the same word for fear again. (yawray) “to make reverent”
What did their fear cost them? Mumbling and grumbling, complaining, dis-trust, lack of faith, rebellion – all which angered God and caused them to fall in the wilderness because they did not learn to “fear-revere” him and what He had promised to them.
The Children of Israel died in the wilderness because they got what their fear caused, and it started at the beginning, at the Red Sea Crossing. Their fear made them speak their outcome, their dread happened, “that we would die in this wilderness”.
See how they spoke their outcome: Read Numbers 14:1-2. So, in Numbers 14:26-34, Yah says to them, OK, YOU CAN HAVE THE thing you dreaded and feared and spoke from your own mouth.
Read Job 3:25-26 “the thing that I feared has come upon me”. (dread) See Job 1:4-5 See, in the first chapter we see that Job was “afraid” that his children were going to do something wrong. The Bible didn’t say they did, but he was “afraid” they were, so he dreaded their feasting and made sacrifices for them, just to make sure that Yah wasn’t going to take vengeance. But in chapter three, the thing “he feared and dreaded” happened. Yah must be punishing for something, just as he supposed in chapter one. Interesting, isn’t it?
Fear causes us to speak things out of our mouths, that will come to pass, if we keep repeating them.
We must get rid of fear at all costs. Stop speaking bad things over ourselves, from our fear, and instead speak the things that we want to happen to us instead. Conquer our fear factor.
For some further insight read Deuteronomy 28:66-67 where the result of fear brings dread of life.
Read Deut 31:6-8 and then I John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear" Fear brings torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.
This journey is to cause us to submit and bring about our perfection or wholeness in Him. Fear does away with our complete submitting in Him. “He that fears is not made perfect in His love”, But perfect love drives away fear. Fear causes torment or judgment in our lives. What is that torment or judgment it brings to our lives? I read it at the beginning!
Fear brings the torment or judgment of: dread (apprehension), lack of courage, terror (extreme fear), discouragement, causes anguish (severe mental or physical pain or suffering-in other words causes sickness physically or mentally), anger or outbursts of anger, become oppressed (come under harsh or authoritative rule), anxiety, depression, mood swings, hopelessness, agitation, worry, misery, loss of confidence, insomnia or over-sleeping, feelings of despair, panic attacks, suicide, loss of confidence, COMPLAINING. (and the list goes on and on)
We all face fear, no doubt about it, but what will we do with that fear?
Courage is doing what is right in the face of fear!
Examples of overcoming fear:
12 spies sent to spy out Caanan -2 had courage (Joshua and Caleb), Acts 4 where Peter and John were told not to preach in his name anymore, Daniel and Lion’s Den, 3 Hebrew children, David and Goliath, Esther, and the list goes on!
I know these people all felt fear but they conquered their fear! We must also!
A few more scriptures to ponder: 2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of YHVH run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” Is your heart loyal to Him in all things? Read II Timothy 1:7, Hebrews 13:6, Romans 8:15.
Isn't it time to say GOODBYE to fear?