No One Will Make You Afraid

Is it possible?

Not to be afraid?

To not tremble, shake and quake at a cancer diagnosis?

To not be disturbed by oppression?

To not be worried about a make-or-break exam?

To not be terrified when a burglar invades your property while you are home?

To not be anxious about the future of your children?

To not be startled by unexpected news?

Is it possible?

Not to be afraid?

Zophar believed it was.

Zophar?

Zophar was the third friend in Job’s little circle of companions who had come to his side in the story of Job, the first poetic book of the Old Testament in the Bible. Job had lost his children, his health, his strength and abilities, and his livelihood in a cataclysmic wave of hardship and misfortune. Regrettably, this group of friends thought it more important to articulate their suppositions as to the cause of Job’s recent series of adversities, than to offer a silent, supportive presence. They offered one word of advice after another – thinking they had the solution of how to lift Job from his pit of hopelessness.

As I have continued in my hope word study, I have been both surprised and gratified to see hope expressed a number of times throughout the story of Job.

It is Zophar the Naamathite’s turn to exhort his friend with a word of hope. It is here that Zophar offers Job a wise, affirming word.  If Job will continue to reach out to his God and place his absolute trust in Him, then…

You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid….

(New International Version, Job 11: 18-19a)

If you were Job, after every single thing that had happened in your life, wouldn’t you fear that something awful was lurking around the next corner?

Zophar countered that worry with the binding truth that there is hope – in God.

Once again, this hope comes from the Hebrew transliterated word, tiqvah. Tiqvah is a cord, a grounding hope, and hopeful expectation. Zophar tells his friend to keep the cord of hope he shares with His God in his grasp. To be held secure by God by the cord of hope provides confidence and assurance. Then, as Job holds on, even as he looks around, Job need not fear that the next proverbial shoe will drop.

No.

Instead, Job is to look about in a different way. To look comes from the Hebrew transliterated word, chaphar. Chaphar means to search and to dig as in to search out and dig deep for the life-giving, life-sustaining water that comes from the wellspring of God. There is life in that water! Zophar exhorts his friend to look for life!

It is then that Job may rest – in safety. There is no more vulnerable position than to lie down with your eyes closed in a deep, abiding sleep. Yet, Job’s cord of hope has not been released. He is still under the watchful, attentive and loving care of his God and Heavenly Father. Job rests; securely grounded in the love of his God.

Zophar contends that with God on watch, how is fear possible?

No one can make Job afraid then.

Not when God is near, not when God is watching, and not when God is holding Job by a strong, secure, and binding cord of hope.

There is no doubt that terrible, terrible, terrible things had happened in Job’s life. Yet, that doesn’t mean that Job had been abandoned by his God.

We may think that way, though.

A cancer diagnosis is shared and the news isn’t good. With God holding on, couldn’t God have prevented those cancer cells from growing?

A dismal test result means no scholarship opportunities. Couldn’t God have helped those memory sparks ignite?

A poor interview may indicate no second call-back. Couldn’t God have made the prospective employers like me?

A burglar broke in and stole a number of items from my home. Couldn’t God have provided a hedge of protection around the property?

A politician is making a number of decisions that affect the future of our children. Couldn’t God guide and influence his thoughts and actions?

Notice, one thing.

In each situation, we want to jerk our cord of hope in such a way that God will respond to our wishes.

What we may forget or fail to acknowledge is that God is holding our cord of hope firmly –

God can’t be jerked around.

Strong.

Firm.

Unyielding.

Immovable.

That’s what we need to know and count upon when our life turns upside-down! God isn’t going anywhere. He hasn’t been turned upside-down. He’s holding our cord of hope and He won’t let go! And He is asking us to not release our end of the cord either. He is asking us to trust Him.

And this is why Zophar says,

“There is hope….with no one to make you afraid.”

Friends, if we would remember that we have a cord of hope that is held fast by our God, we need not fear what is ahead – no matter what it is – because our God will be there in it with us.

I believe, some of us may want to say, “Yes, but, what about…..”

I say in response, “What are you looking at?”

Are you looking at your present circumstances?

Are you looking towards a future that you cannot yet see?

Are you looking to the past for things that can no longer be?

Stop.

Remember.

There is hope.

There is rest.

There is strength.

There is courage.

There is a deep well of life-sustaining, life-giving water.

There is God.

Look to Him and when you do – you may lie down with no one to make you afraid.

Yes.

no-one-will-make-you-afraid

No one will make you afraid.

No one will make you afraid.

No one will make you afraid.

Will you believe that?

What worries and fears are you still experiencing – right at this moment?

Let go of them, and instead take hold of the cord of hope.

Will you remember that there is hope – and that your God is holding you strong and fast?

No one will make you afraid.

6 Comments

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  1. What wonderful,wise incites for my brain today! Thank you, Heather!

  2. Wonderful thoughts. I am still sometimes afraid. That’s when I think of the times in the past when I was afraid and all for naught. I am very thankful that I am on a journey through this deep and sometimes dark valley but it is not my home. It is just the road home.

  3. Heather, wonderful words and so timely to share with friend whose Christian sister is paralyzed due to medical situation, fear can so grip us making us forget the truths you wrote about, often coming when we are least prepared. Thank you for this blog that always speaks to me!

    • Hi Rosemary, I pray your sweet friend is undergirded by the the love, strength and power of her God to see her through this difficult, difficult I-never-chose-this challenge. Sending you both my love and tender hugs, heather

  4. What a thoughts.. Wonderful..
    Thank you Heather for sharing this.
    It is in my mind now.. 🙂

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