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December 16, 2009 / beidson

Does Sarah Condemn You? Why You Should Not Be Afraid of Frightening Things

Can you think of anything more frightening than obedience?  Certainly evil clowns and chainsaw murderers might seem to befirst on the list, if you asked me.  But the Scriptures tell a different story.

The Apostle Peter explains that Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was a remarkable woman because of her submission and obedience.  In fact, women who imitate her faith are known as her children, which is only fitting seeing that Abraham is the father of those who are righteous through faith.  What’s more, Sarah is held up as a model of bravery and fearlessness.  Peter writes, “And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening” (2 Peter 3:6).  This is a strange way of talking.  Be definition, frightening things are scary, and typically we are not prone to feel comfortable around frightening things.  This is why horror movies are so popular–they allow us to examine evil from a safe distance.  But if we were to ever find ourselves in a moment of horror and terror, well, again, that’s a different story altogether.

Sarah was not afraid of submission or obedience.  She followed Abraham into an unknown land, trusting God to make good on his promise.  And God did.  Sarah obeyed God beautifully.  She adorned herself with hope.  She had the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.  Her confidence was in the goodness of God to give her what he had promised, so she did not fear the frightening prospect of following her husband into another land.  No longer would she observe the unknown from a safe distance–now she would walk right into it.

But really, the moral of the story is not to trust God with your future, though this is certainly an implication.  The point is this: do not be afraid of frightening things–trust God and obey him.  Those who do not know God fear for their lives–they are afraid to be confronted by evil.  But those who belong to Jesus have overcome evil.  They are not afraid of frightening things.

This is not about laughing at murder and perversion and crookedness–certainly not.  We acknowledge the evil and horror of these things.  But we must think more in terms of our craving for immediate comfort and satisfaction, “What will we eat?  What will we wear?”  Jesus said that pagans are consumed with these questions.  But we must not be afraid of what we do not understand; rather, we must trust God and obey him.  We are Abraham and Sarah’s children if we put our hope and confidence in the promises of One who has been before us to battle the dark forces in the heavenly places.  We are not afraid of frightening things because we fear the one who is able to cast the soul and body into hell, and he is for us and not against us.

Would you be condemned by a woman with a gentle and quiet spirit?  Then trust God and obey him, and you will not be orphans, but children of the one who was not afraid of frightening things.

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