My Bible reading plan, from the Old Testament and New Testament, intersected in an intriguing way. First Deuteronomy 18, then Mark 13.
“When the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, and the thing does not happen or come true, that is the thing with the Lord has not spoken. The profit has spoken at presumptuously; you are not to be afraid of him” (22).
Here, Israel receives a comforting word in reference to a time when some frowning Providence is spoken in error, by a presumptuous prophet. Notice the comforting instruction: “you are not to be afraid of him.”
The Bible knows you. God knows these situations are prone for fearing that prophet. Rather than merely “don’t listen to him,” or “don’t follow him,” the Lord says “don’t fear him.” This simple point means a lot to me because it shows something fundamental about my heart, and it shows God really does know how to instruct me. He gets us.
Then Mark 13,
“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end” (7).
Here the Lord directs His people about the end time when things will go bad on earth. His disciples would hear of wars and rumors of wars. The counsel remains the same: don’t be afraid (alarmed). I expect those wars will actually be happening, so we will hear about a real life trouble, not like the presumptuous news of the prophet. And in that situation, the insightful pre-diagnosis is fear. So He says, even when this happens don’t be afraid.
Two good truths for today:
- God knows you and your fearful tendencies.
- Whether true or false, you don’t need to be afraid because He’s in control.