Isaiah 8:11-12 ESV
“For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: ‘Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.’”
In the Way of This People
When I was growing up as a child, we may or we may not have had a TV. If we did, it didn’t always work. We had 4 main channels we watched, and the broadcasting networks shut down after the 11 p.m. news on most nights. I think we may have had news at noon and at 5 or 6 p.m., and then again at 11 p.m., for an hour each, unless there was a special event taking place.
If we had a telephone, we had one in the house which was attached to a chord and part of that time it was a party line shared with a neighbor, which made it more affordable. We had no voice mail or answering machines, so if you didn’t make it to the phone in time, you didn’t know who called. It might take days or even a week to reach the person you wanted to reach.
We now live in an age where we are being fed information around the clock. We, at least here in America, have smart phones, tablets, and personal computers which keep us continually connected with the outside world, if we so choose, where we can get news and all sorts of information 24/7. And now we can email or text or chat with friends and family via the internet.
Everything now seems pretty instantaneous, too. We can send a chat to anyone around the world, pretty much, and within seconds or minutes we might receive a reply. Or we can check the news or chat with people on social media, or check out music on YouTube or on Vimeo, or watch movies or documentaries on demand (when and if we choose).
This definitely has its positives, such as being able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people throughout the world any time of day or night. If we need to reach someone in case of emergency, we can. If we need to check on a possible tornado approaching, we can check on that, too. And I am certain you can think of more positives I didn’t think of.
One of the downsides of all of these instantaneous communications, though, is that so much quick information is being thrown at us. Many people are reacting to the quick and frequent information with their emotions without taking the time to think, or to check out the truth of what they heard or read, and many then are passing that same information along to others.
So, a lot of people are making very quick judgments about other people and about other situations with a quick read of a meme or a tweet or with a quick video, which can be totally faked, and sometimes (or often) those judgments are not right, fair, or just. They far too easily believe what they see at a glance or hear or watch and then pass it along as truth.
Now, this doesn’t mean we should just assume it is false information, unless it is repetitive information that we already found to be false. But we also shouldn’t assume it is true, just because some meme said it, or some news clip said it, or we saw it in a video (which can be faked/altered). But we should, as Christians, pray for wisdom to separate truth from lies.
Isaiah 8:13-15 ESV
“‘But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.’”
Him You Shall Honor
Because we are living in the information age, and so much of that information is quick and easy to access, and because so much of it is manipulative, too, to human emotions, or can be, many people are letting those quick bits of information define truth for them, and many are following these quick tidbits of information blindly.
And not only are they buying into these quick bits quickly without thinking, but they are letting them do their thinking for them. And they are letting them form their beliefs and practices and values. And this is what they are then often passing along to their friends, neighbors, and family members, instead of sharing with them the gospel and the Scriptures.
But we aren’t supposed to be giving our honor to memes or to tweets (unless they are biblical). That honor should be given to God and to God alone. Then, we should be sharing Him and His Word with the world rather than the things that the world is saying, unless what we are sharing is reputable and useful information that we have prayed over.
Too many people who call themselves Christians, in other words, are following other humans over following Jesus Christ. They are listening more to the voices of the world than they are listening to the Scriptures. And instead of sharing the gospel and the Scriptures, they are sharing the thoughts and ideas of other humans who may not have the mind of God.
And so, Christians often look just like non-Christians. Many of them talk about the same stuff, share the same memes or news stories, the same jokes, the same songs, the same videos, and the same thinking and values as others with whom they connect on social media or other places. And so, they end up being clones of one another.
So, it is good for us to take stock in what we are viewing, and in what we are listening to or reading, and in what we are then passing along to others. And then we should compare that to the teachings of Scripture, and to our instructions given to us in how we are to live on this earth. And then we should see if what we are doing is what God desires of us or not.
For, he is to be the one we honor and praise. He should be the one we are sharing and passing along to the world. We should be telling people on social media about Jesus and about his salvation, and we should be encouraging our fellow Christians in their walks of faith and their walks of obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.
But not everyone is going to respond correctly to the gospel of Jesus Christ, not if we are sharing it in truth. For it is an offense to those who are walking in the ways of the flesh, which sadly includes many people who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ. So, if we are sharing the gospel, we may not get a lot of “likes” on social media, and that’s perfectly okay.
For, our goal in being on social media, and in posting anything on there, or in writing blog posts, or to be on Christian discussion sites where we share thoughts, beliefs, and the Scriptures with others, should be for the glory of God and not for the glory of ourselves. It should be to honor God in all that we do and say, and to not do what will dishonor our Lord.
For, we as followers of Jesus Christ are to be the light of the world, turning them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that they can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:18; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Tit 2:11-14; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).
Shine Jesus Shine
By Graham Kendrick
Lord the light of Your love is shining
In the midst of the darkness, shining
Jesus, Light of the world, shine upon us
Set us free by the truth You now bring us
Shine on me
Shine on me
Shine, Jesus, shine
Fill this land with the Father’s glory
Blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire
Flow, river, flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth Your Word, Lord and let there be light…
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3 thoughts on “Don’t Fear What They Fear”
“…but for those who do not believe,
“’The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,’
“’A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.’
“They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.” 1 Pet 2:7-8
A very timely message, Sue. I love the song. It brings back memories of when I used to have “Hosannah” worship music playing practically non-stop, setting the atmosphere in my home, car, and life. Now the atmosphere in the world is so evil. We need to be salt and light now more than ever.
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Glory to God! Thank you, Annie. Amen to what you said here. I agree we need to be salt and light now more than ever because the world is so evil. Thank you for sharing that encouragement. Love you! Sue
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