Devotions By Jan

Contagious Fear

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Scripture for Today:  Deuteronomy 20:8  “Then the officer shall add, ‘Is anyone afraid or fainthearted?  Let him go home so that his fellow soldiers will not become disheartened too.'”

I love the message of this saying!  It isn’t until the first duck lands on the head of this crocodile that the other two dare to get near!  The first duck is especially fearless as he discovers that the crocodile is fake!  Of course, he may not have realized it until coming close and landing on it.  In any case, courage IS contagious as is its opposite; fear.

In today’s verse, officers are addressing the troops before battle.  They have been reassured that the Lord will be fighting for them and would give them the victory.  They were told there was no need to be afraid, to be terrified or to give way to panic (verses 1, 3-4).  The officers asked the soldiers for complete commitment.  Those with a new house, a new vineyard or those newly engaged were allowed to go home.  And then comes this surprising verse.  Even those afraid were encouraged to go home, because fear is contagious!

In God’s Word is often found the phrase, “Be not afraid.”  The Spirit God has given us does not make us timid or fearful (II Tim. 1:7).  Regardless of the size of the enemy, God is greater.  Regardless of that unknown future, God is greater.  Regardless of any obstacle we face, God is greater.  When we are in a place of complete trust and confidence, then there is no room for fear.  Acknowledging His loving and sovereign control chases away any doubt or fear.  Fear is contagious.  But so is confidence!  Being around others that trust Him bolsters my faith as well.

Lord, may my trust in You be an encouragement to others today!

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