Fear is a strong human emotion that has been given to us by God for our benefit. When fear is properly applied, it can powerfully deter a person from danger. Thoughtful fear can be helpful to us when we assess the danger of falling off the edge of a precipice, work with extremely hazardous materials, or cross a busy highway. Fear can also cause us to be thoughtful when we consider the consequences of offending righteous government or even almighty God. Only a fool goes in where angels fear to tread.
When fear is properly kept within ethical bounds it can be very beneficial to us all. But when fear is out of control, it can turn against us. For example, when people are too afraid to bring a murderer to justice they become ensnared in the sin. Therefore injustice must not be tolerated because we have fears that are misapplied.
All our passions must be submitted to God’s commandments. We must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. There are no exceptions. Consider the following extreme example. One must not act upon compassion alone to forgive murder, rape or theft as if justice required nothing further. This would be an example of misapplied compassion that is out of bounds. Therefore, even the human emotion of compassion must remain within the bounds of God’s Law.
Returning to the subject of fear, these are strong emotions that we must carefully keep within bounds. God commands His people to fear Him and serve Him alone. So Christians must never fear people who commit injustice. They must not allow fear to tempt them to ignore justice or ignore victims who need assistance. The righteous must not retreat before the wicked, but rather they are enjoined to defend the innocent, to do justice and teach everyone to observe all that Christ has commanded. People must seek first to do God’s will on earth as it is in Heaven. When people do justice and love mercy, even the gates of hell cannot prevail against them.
The biggest bombs, missiles, military arms, intricate security measures, total surveillance and standing armies cannot protect a nation of people who cower before terrorists. People should employ their liberty to execute the justice they owe to one another, but they must not allow a fear of terrorists to induce them to substitute liberty for the promise of security. Maintaining the people’s liberty is critical to the administration of justice. A society without liberty is a society that is always awash with injustice.
When national faith rests upon almighty God, a nation will easily find the courage to resist terror and other injustice. But nations that turn away from God shall naturally submit to fear and when they restrict liberty, they always become subject to terrorism or tyranny.
Christ is merciful and patient, but He is also King of kings and Lord of lords. Nations are established for the very purpose to reward those who do righteousness and subjugate those who do evil. Christ disciplines all nations who reject His ways of liberty and justice. If many opportunities to implement justice are neglected or refused, nations will begin to collapse under the weight of godless violence and fear.
Because we now live in the information age, the images and stories of violence and persecution are sent around the globe in an instant. Acts of terrorism can immediately affect people on the other side of the world. Counting upon the aid of modern media, terrorists can export their terror and achieve global influence at nearly the speed of light. The images and testimonies of violent acts are deeply disturbing to nearly everyone. But such injustice is specifically designed by terrorists to be disturbing, troubling and to encourage an unbounded fear that will break the spirit and corrupt the hearts of all who lack faith and courage.
Terrorists are parasitic and they feed off those whose fear is unbridled. The message of fear is carefully designed to manipulate people who do not keep their emotions within the bounds of faith in God. Let us not think that violent men and armies are in control of the world, instead the truth is that Christ the Lord has been raised above all rule and authority in heaven and on earth. So we should go and teach nations the commandments of the Lord.
Nations that trust in Christ, that do justice and love mercy will always remain immune to terrorism and tyranny. Submitting all our emotions to God will always be an invincible national defense strategy. Doing the will of God on earth is real power for change, but this power is not derived from a military or a carnal nature.
America has been entrusted with a heritage of faith in God, goodwill and great prosperity, but many blessings also bring many responsibilities. If America is faithless and irresponsible she shall surely fall as a result of internal corruption and strife. We must understand that it is the lack of faith in God and doing His will that most weakens America’s security.
Let us follow the ways of the Prince of Peace and keep our emotions and works within the bounds of faith in God. Let us be courageous toward terrorists, defend the oppressed, establish justice within our nation and resist the temptation to employ armies or send arms to other nations. We should remove injustice from our own land rather then using military force to compel a regime change in another. Nations who have succumbed to tyranny and terrorism need to stand up and implement justice on their more then they need our arms or military advisers. God’s will for the nations is not for a continuous military occupation over those who are hell-bent, it for people to choose God’s justice for all and experience the peace that flows from goodwill and liberty.
If we enter into war and ignore obedience toward God it will become an empty pit that consumes precious resources and human lives. Bullets are used up, bombs are dropped, infrastructure is destroyed and many are killed, but what do people learn from this massive loss? War consumes vast wealth and precious human lives. It is tragic when peace finally comes in the form of exhaustion and death, when cities become rubble and a generation looses its faith and innocence. Conflict may end after resources are far spent and after there is nothing left over which to fight. But is such exhaustion really peace or is it just a time for the combatants to catch their breath before they can marshal more resources for war? When will we ever learn?
When God’s will is established a nation stands like a mighty wall that needs very little maintenance or defense. If we are patient, courageous and give attention to justice at home, the night of terrorism and tyranny will give way to the dawn of liberty. Those who obey the Prince of Peace will live in a nation where young and old learn to love their neighbors as themselves, thus establishing a lasting peace at all levels of society. We are promised that the meek shall inherit the earth and it shall surely come to pass – with our without us. Consider the words of the psalmist whose encouragement is for us to keep our fears within the bounds of faith.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” (Psalm 23)