Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you” (Gen 12:10-13)
Abram worried about what man could do to him . . . and forgot God was for him.
He had gone down to Egypt to avoid a famine—only to run head-on into a famine of faith, a feasting upon anxious worry.
Out of fear for the Egyptians, Abram discredited God’s providence, forsaking integrity in the process.
Earlier, God made a covenant with Abram. Recorded in Genesis 12:3 and following, God promised to bless those who bless Abram and curse those who curse him. I’m not sure how much time lapsed in the span of verse 3 to verse 10, but his memory definitely lapsed. It’s not uncommon, however, to suffer faith amnesia when fear kicks in. Hence the importance of remembering—remembering rightly Who and what to fear.
Peter and John remembered.
But Peter and John replied,
“Which is right in God’s eyes:
to listen to you, or to him?
Peter and John knew to be more concerned about obeying God than man. (Yes, even those men.) Even though those same men had them arrested. Even though those same men crucified their Lord. Even though those men wielded all the weapons that provoke fear.
But God was the Greater to be feared. For what can man do to me? Really?
Their question was not “What if they,” but “What if God.”
They remembered God is sovereign and the people plot in vain (see Ac 4:24, 25).
History is keeper of the truth that whenever the people of God didn’t fear God, they abandoned Him. That’s when there is real cause to fear—because a godless life is a fearful life.
That great, big thing you’re facing? Remember, something else is greater still. Because Someone else is greater still.
“What if they” is a timeless question, spiraling since the dawn of time. It’s a worrisome question . . . a fearful question . . . a faith-robbing, God-discounting question. It is a question I have asked myself more times that I can count, unfortunately. The problem with it is the “they.” Because to fear “them” is to remove God. Might the weightier fear be the one of a daughter disappointing the Father she desperately loves? And longs to honor?
We mustn’t cower under “what if.” And certainly not “what if they.” Instead, remember God. Then, wisdom, faith, and courage will follow.
Remember what God has said concerning you. And, by all means, remember the word of the Lord (Ac 11:16).
God, give me faith greater than my fear. When I am intimidated by others, help me to trust in You and remain faithful.