Wednesday, 25 August 2021
Today I want to write about the second to the last "WE WILL" statement (there are 7, so this is the sixth) ... "We will not be overcome with fear for He has given us power, love, and a sound mind." How did this get into the Congregational Declaration for 2021? As we were praying last January, the world was (and to some degree, still is) consumed with fear of COVID-19. The Holy Spirit immediately tied the fear of the worldwide pandemic to God's admonition that we embrace His gifts of power, love and a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power and love and self-discipline.
Rabbi Trail: That last word in Greek, "Sophronismos" has several possible translations, but they are all consistent with keeping our sound mind anchored in Yeshua. This word only appears this one time in all of Scripture. I found this on biblehub.com, a website which I use extensively. They say it better than I could. "Cognate: 4995 (a masculine noun derived from 4998 /sophron"truly moderate") - properly, safe-minded, issuing in prudent ("sensible") behavior that "fits" a situation, i.e. aptly acting out God's will by doing what He calls sound reasoning." End RT.
Acknowledging God's admonition that we are not to live in fear is important. But there is such a thing as healthy fear. For instance, it is wise to fear touching a hot stove. But there is also unhealthy fear, the fear that causes us to run from God. Never be afraid to trust God. However; this also needs to be done with wisdom. Yeshua demonstrated that to Satan when he was tempted in the wilderness. You wouldn't throw yourself off a cliff and trust God to save you, right? But still, 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. Or better still, Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in Adonai with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
It is unwise to allow unhealthy fear of circumstances or mankind to alter our healthy fear of the Lord. The second prayer every morning (the first is a "thank you" to God for "restoring my soul" by waking me up) is a quote from the Proverbs. Proverbs 9:10a The fear of Adonai is the beginning of wisdom. This same phrase appears in other places of Scripture.
We will not live in fear. Fear will not control our actions or thoughts. We will live by faith, faith in the One Who is our "Magen," Hebrew for "shield." God alone is "Shomair Yisrael." It is He Who is the Watchman of Israel.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,