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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 31, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again

Daily Reading: I Samuel 15-17


I Samuel 16:2

And Samuel said, How can I go? If Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord.


What a month of reading through the Bible! From Deuteronomy 7 through the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and the first 17 chapters of I Samuel we have read much. Of all that has been read, much of it has been marked by fear. In fact, 46 times in these few books fear, or one of its derivatives, has been used. It was a fearful time in the history of Israel. Saul and Samuel were not exempted. They both suffered from fear.


Fear was created by the Lord God for our protection. One time while hiking in New Mexico, in mid step, I heard a rattle snake’s rattle. I paused my foot in midair and I am glad I did. For if I had planted my foot where it would have naturally landed I would have stepped far too close to that rattler’s head. His distinct warning gave me time to alter my path; fear saved me from a serious situation. This is why God designed fear into us, for our protection. But fear, like other emotions we have, has been pirated to use as a weapon against us. Proverbs 29:25 clearly tells us: The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. Fear, like anything else, can be used for our betterment, health, and safety, or as a weapon by an enemy.


Today you will read of Goliath and David. The giant tried to use fear in I Samuel 17:44 saying to this ruddy lad: …Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. A lesser young man could have shrunk in the face of fear stemming from those words. But David met Goliath’s words with some of his own (see 17:45-47). David’s words glorified the Lord God of Heaven, while Goliath’s words were empty threats based on nothing but hubris.


Back to Saul and Samuel. They both suffered from fear. Saul was fearful of the people rejecting him as king saying in 15:24 …I feared the people… Samuel said to God in 16:2, How can I go? If Saul hear it, he will kill me. Yes, fear can attack anyone at any time. But then there is Proverbs 28:14 that proclaims: Happy is the man that feareth alway:.  Why? Because the happy person is the one that understands fear, uses it appropriately, and does not allow it to be used as a weapon against them.


If Saul, a king, suffered from fear, if Samuel, the prophet of God, suffered from fear, anyone can. Fear is real and it must be dealt with properly, Biblically, and through faith in God.


Dr. William T. Howe

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