Foundational themes in Genesis (Part 25)

Theme: Fear

(Key verse: Genesis 3:10)

Gen 3:9-10 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid [Hebrew: “yârê”; Greek: “phobeō” from “phobos” = to be put in fear], because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Not one person in the generations of the first man Adam can be separated from the love of God, not even by the nakedness of flesh with all its inherent evil, as created by the Potter (Isa 45:7; Jer 18:4; Rom 8:20):

Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Yes, God is the Creator of all things, even the evil and its nakedness. This is our experience of evil in this earthly eon, and it is all God’s idea:

Isa 45:5-7  I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:  6  That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.  7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Ecc 1:13 KJV  And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

Ecc 1:13 CLV I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

This “evil experience” or “sore travail” in this physical life is filled with tribulations, distresses, persecution, famines, nakedness, perils and it is all by “the hand of God” (1Sam 5:11; Job 2:10; Pro 16:4; 1Pet 5:6; Matt 4:4):

Amo 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Yet God loves each one He created in Adam, and He is in the process of making or conforming them all eventually in the spiritual image of His Son, Jesus Christ, even through all these evil experiences (Rom 8:29).

1Co 15:45-48  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.  46  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.  47  The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.  48  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

Like all natural minds, Adam and Eve were very ignorant of God’s sovereignty and His knowledge of all things as they thought they could hide themselves from the presence of God:

Gen 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool [Hebrew: rûach = spirit] of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

“God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” points also to His association with us, as He takes full and complete responsibility for all He created and causes to happen (Eph 1:11; Isa 45:5-7). There is “none else” that dares take responsibility for things that happens in His creation! But the Scriptures declare that there is another god who is totally deceived in thinking he is responsible for his own evil because he believes that he has a “free” will, amongst others false beliefs in his wicked heart:

2Th 2:3-4 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Yes, “that man of sin” in each one of us is not God (Rev 13:18: Gen 1:26-31). Only “the God of heaven” is “the Father of [all] spirits” and He created evil and sent the evil spirit of the world which “is not [the holy spirit] of the Father” (1Jn 2:16: Job 1:12: Job 2:6; 1Ki 22:20-23):

Heb 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

Fear is a manifestation of a natural heart which cannot see and acknowledge God’s hand in all things. It is clear that Adam and Eve were given “a spirit of bondage…to fear” at the creation (Gen 2:7; Rom 8:20):

Gen 3:9-10 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid [Hebrew: “yârê”; Greek: “phobeō” from “phobos” = to be put in fear], because I was naked; and I hid myself.

All fears (Greek: “phobos”) are based on lies of earthy knowledge of man’s wisdom which God appoints for all in the first Adam (Lev 26:15-16; 1Cor 2:4; Jam 3:25-15). Like their nakedness, the natural inherent fear in Adam and Eve was now also exposed to them for the first time. This fear caused them to hide away from God which confirms what flesh is – spiritual bondage. Flesh, and its carnal spirit, is contrary to the spirit of God, and it was created as a spiritual prison in which all in the first Adam live initially (Gal 5:17; John 3:6; 1Pet 3:19).

Rom 8:5-8  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

The natural spirit that was breathed into Adam (and Eve and all in their generations) is a spirit “in prison” (Gen 2:7; 1Pet 3:19). The spirit of God does not bring bondage, but spiritual freedom (1Cor 15:50; 2Co 3:17):

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.

It is only in the “last Adam” (Jesus Christ) that “the opening of the prison” is provided when we receive “not…again…the spirit of bondage…to fear”, but a spirit of adoption of true spiritual sonship which the first man, Adam, did not receive (1Cor 15:45-50). True spiritual sonship is to have a sound mind “of power, and of love”:

2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

The apostle Paul, for example, was actually in outward weakness, fear and trembling in the flesh while he (and the other apostles) preached the Word and commandments of God “in demonstration of the Spirit (of God) and of power (of God)”:

1Co 2:3-4 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

1Jn 5:3-4 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

The “enticing words of man’s wisdom” are powerful delusions which camouflages fear. A “sound mind” is anchored in the Word of God and fearless in proclaiming the truth. The Adamic flesh hosts a spirit of “weakness….fear…and trembling”, and while we are in this “vessel of dishonour” our natural responses will always initially be the same when the God-sent “earthquakes” shake our natural foundations. This even happened to the flesh of Jesus and, like the example He left us, we need the support from others:

Mat 26:36-39 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

This life in flesh is a shadow and a “vapour” from the Potter’s hand and this fear of the unknown is inherent to the flesh of the first Adam (James 4:25; 1Pet 1:24). Man’s perspective from “under the sun” is not God’s perspective. Fear drives the natural mind to react and to find natural solutions, but the spiritual solution, however, is driven by faith. To receive faith to believe God’s Word is seen by some as “fatalism”, as if we are not supposed to “work out” our own salvation within this (fear and trembling) “vessel of earth” (Ph 2:12-13; Lev 15:12). But it is God who works inside or behind the visible realm and we do the works accordingly. What we do is part of the plan, not something besides God’s will. The evil spirit of fear for the unknown is also “of the Lord” which causes people (like Edmund Burke) to say that ‘the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing’. Fear of the unknown makes people to believe that “time and chance”, and even “the lot” is not of the Lord (Num 26:55; 1Sam 14:41-42; Pro 18:18; Acts 1:24-26):

Ecc 9:11-12 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. 12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

Pro 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

Even an arrow shot “into the air” is directed by God which at one time in Scripture killed the evil king, Ahab, whose death was told in advance by the prophet Micaiah (2Ch 18:18-22):

2Ch 18:33 (ERV) Then a soldier pulled back on his bow and shot an arrow into the air. By chance it hit the king of Israel between two pieces of his armor. King Ahab said to his chariot driver, “I’ve been hit! Turn the chariot around and take me off the battlefield!”

Our will and our choices are all under God’s one will and choices for us, and no-one has ever resisted His will. Even the worst evil which ever took place on earth (i.e. the cruel death of an innocent Jesus at the hand of the Romans after the hatred of the Jews wanted Him dead) was “whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done”!

Act 4:26-28  The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.  27  For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,  28  For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

It is a very hard and bitter pill to swallow when we are first given to see this truth:

Pro 20:24 Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

Pro 21:1-2 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. 2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth [Hebrew: “tâkan” = directs] the hearts.

It reveals spiritual blindness and arrogance to think our thoughts and actions (especially our prayers) can alter God’s direction and decisions which He actually made before we were created!

Psa 139:16 ASV  Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them.

In our blinded state of mind we cannot see what this verse in Psalm 139 says. The natural mind is just filled (wall to wall) with deceit and corruption, and not surprisingly, also extremely shameless and boastful in it:

Rom 3:10-18 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

The fear of God which is the “way of peace” is not present in a natural mind, because the fear of what man thinks takes precedence (Rom 5:1; John 14:27). Adam’s fear was based on his natural ideas of God and of himself, which is basically what unbelief is about. It is clear that Adam did not receive the gift of faith. Self-preservation is so common to our natural mind, but it remains an evil spirit which is driven by natural fear (2Thes 2:11; Pro 29:25):

Mat 6:27-28 (LEB) And who among you, by being anxious, is able to add one hour to his life span? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe the lilies of the field, how they grow: they do not toil or spin,

Mat 10:28-31 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Through a humbling process God teaches us what the fear of God actually really entails.

Pro 14:16 A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.

It is only through “the fear of the Lord” that we receive knowledge of “the only true God, and Jesus Christ”, which releases us from the “fear of man” of the first Adam (Ps 111:10; Pro 1:7; Pro 14:27; Rom 8:28; John 14:27; John 17:3; Pro 3:25-26):

Pro 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Pro 19:23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

“The fear of the Lord” is given to us through His life-given word and the mind of Christ, as we die to our old mind and his ideas (John 12:24; Matt 10:39; 1Cor 2:16). That is how we find peace with God and are released from the bondage of “the fear of death” in the first Adam (Rom 5:1; John 14:27):

Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

The hearts (and the consequent actions) of Adam and Eve revealed that they did not fear God in this true sense, even before they ate of the forbidden tree’s fruit. The heart of the first Adam, by God’s design, was set “in a way that is not good”:

Psa 36:1-4 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD. The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. 2 For he flattereth [“smooth things”] himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. 3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. 4 He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.

Human approval and fearing “the people, and obey[ing] their voice” ensnares us to avoid “the way of peace” (1Ki 15:24; Rom 3:17-18). Only obedience in God’s word and submitting to His judgements reveal the proper accounting of our lives to God (Rom 14:12):

Pro 29:25-26 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe. 26 Many seek the ruler’s favour; but every man’s judgment cometh from the LORD.

This natural fear in the first Adam brings deep internal torment which manifests in feelings of insecurity, rejection and suspicion, amongst others:

1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

The commandment to “fear not” is part of the doctrine of Christ which only will be obeyed if He and His love is perfected in us, even as we are judged. In His judgement earthly fears are destroyed (Phil 2:12-13; 1John 5:1-2):

1Jn 4:16-17 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.


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Want let op julle roeping, broeders: julle is nie baie wyse na die vlees nie, nie baie magtiges, nie baie edeles nie; maar wat dwaas is by die wêreld, het God uitverkies om die wyse te beskaam; en wat swak is by die wêreld, het God uitverkies om wat sterk is, te beskaam; en wat onedel is by die wêreld en wat verag is, het God uitverkies, en wat niks is nie, om wat iets is, tot niet te maak, sodat geen vlees voor Hom sou roem nie. (1Kor 1:26-29)
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