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以色列的耶羅波安取得了北國之後，因懼怕以色列人走回南國的聖殿去敬拜，令他失去民眾，因此他便在北國南北兩端設立金牛犢，以代替聖殿敬拜。他的行動有效地鞏固了北國，但卻使以色列百姓從此陷在罪中。保羅曾說過：「凡希圖外貌體面的人都勉強你們受割禮，無非是怕自己為基督的十字架受逼迫。」（加六 12）一個人要倚靠自己的成就去爭取別人的擁戴，背後往往是因為害怕如果完全信靠遵從主，便會令自己受人輕視與逼迫。假如你懼怕某事、或某人，你就會去敬拜這事、這人（you worship what you fear）。我們害怕被人排斥，所以會寧願尊崇那些可能排斥自己的人，按他們的期望行事，甚至過於聽從神。被懼怕驅動行事的人，常會一步步地把個人生命的主權拱手獻給所懼怕的人和事，就如拜偶像一樣。
主勸導門徒說：「那殺身體、不能殺靈魂的，不要怕他們；惟有能把身體和靈魂都滅在地獄裡的（父），正要怕他。」（太十 28）面對殺害自己的人，我們又怎會不怕？但主告知我們，原來真實敬畏主的人會有力量不怕人（To fear God gives you power not to fear man）！主自己也曾見證了這種能力，當彼拉多威嚇祂說：「你豈不知我有權柄釋放你，也有權柄把你釘十字架嗎？」主便回答說：「若不是從上頭賜給你的，你就毫無權柄辦我。」（見約十九 10-11）主看見了人的權勢背後有真正掌權的父，所以祂雖身陷險境，但仍能無懼前行！
Refuse to Fear
Rev Gordon Siu
Life choices and directions of aspirations are often driven by two emotions – desire and fear. When we feel insecure or suddenly find the future uncertain, a strong impulse will emerge, wanting to change the anticipated situation ahead. This may be about a shortage of funds, broken relationships, even personal safety. The impulse can help us prevent a potential crisis, but it can also turn us into environment-controlled, fear-driven individuals, and send us down a twisted, wrong path.
After taking over the Northern Kingdom, Israel's Jeroboam was worried that his people would return to temple worship in the Southern Kingdom, thus undermining his support. So he erected two golden calves at the northern and southern tips of the Northern Kingdom to replace temple worship. His move was effective in terms of consolidating the Kingdom, but the Israelites also sank into sin since then. Paul has said: "Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ" (Galatians 6:12). Very often, when one tries to win others' support by their achievements, it is really because they are afraid that if they were to totally trust in and obey the Lord, they would end up being despised and persecuted. If you fear something or someone, you worship what you fear. We fear rejection, so we would rather revere those who are likely to reject us and do what those people expect us to do, even to the extent of disobeying God. Fear-driven people often gradually hand over sovereignty over their lives to the people or issues they fear. It is like worshiping idols.
The Lord has exhorted His disciples: "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). Can we take it easy when faced with a killer? But the Lord tells us: To fear God gives you power not to fear man! The Lord Himself has testified to such power. When Pilate threatened the Lord saying, “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” And the Lord replied: "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above" (See John 19:10-11). The Lord saw the Father behind man’s power, the One who really reigns. As such, the Lord Jesus was able to proceed fearlessly in the most dangerous circumstances!
Fear manifests itself in many forms. Very often when the Lord sends someone, the person being sent invariably fears because of his own inadequacy: I'm too young, or too old; my background is unimpressive; I am clumsy in speech…. But the Lord's reply is always this: "Do not fear, for I am with you!" Man will be afraid if he is engrossed in his own inadequacy alone. It is only when he calms down and turns his eyes upon the presence of the Lord that he will be able to dispel fear, which is why the psalmist says: "When I am afraid, I will trust in you" (Psalm 56:3). This is the very key to rejecting fear!