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    INTIMIDATION…the Fear factor

    INTIMIDATION…the Fear factor

    Definition of INTIMIDATE
    [: to make timid or fearful : frighten; especially : to compel or deter by or as if by threats ]
    Hebrews 2:14-16Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham.
    It is important to note here the role that FEAR has had in our lives and, in many cases, still does. It is fear that the enemy of our souls has used to keep us under his control. It is a fact that most of the choices and decisions we have made in life had, as its primary motivation, fear. Fear has so interwoven itself into the fabric of our lives, we have great difficulty recognizing it and its works. All too often, we do not even consider it at all. This is fear’s greatest advantage over us…its invisibility or stealth. Fear has that great ability to worm its way in and around our thought processes, going undetected, that we actually believe we do not have fear as our motivator but viewed in the light of the freedom God gives us through the knowledge of the truth, we will become adept at recognizing it and addressing it….to destroy its influence and works in our lives. Many of us may not want to believe this about ourselves but the evidence speaks very loudly to this fact. It is my hope that through this study, the all too subtle means that the devil has had access to our lives through fear, will be exposed. In doing this, exposing the workings and effects of fear, we may use the remedies God has given us to eradicate fear once and for all.

    Three Biblical Examples of Fear

    In this study, we will look closely at 3 biblical examples of fear, its working, its effects and its removal. These examples will be taken from the lives of the children of Israel as they enter the promised land, Goliath and the intimidation of Israel, and Job’s fear for his children.
    The children of Israel were well on their way to reach the promised land. Along the way, they were given key life lessons which would be necessary as they came to possess the land promised their fathers before them. Some of these lessons included, God loves them by setting them free from their bondage in Egypt; God is their defense as the most powerful army in the world were defeated through the very passage God miraculously opened up for them; God is their provider as the rock was struck and the waters poured forth to satisfy this great multitude in the desert & the provision of manna every morning throughout their journey; God would be their God as He gave them Ten Commandments to teach them the nature of love and that God is a Holy God executing justice on the great and the small.
    Each of these truths were given to the children of Israel to prepare them beforehand for the battles that lay ahead.
    In Chapter 13 of Numbers, God gave instructions to send out a representative of each of the 12 tribes of Israel to spy out the land He was bringing to them as their inheritance forever.
    Numbers 13:1-2Spies Sent into CanaanAnd the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.” 
    Numbers 13:17-20Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, and see what the land is like:whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes. 
    Numbers 13:23Then they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. They also brought some of the pomegranates and figs. 
    Numbers 13:26-27Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. Then they told him, and said:“We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 
    Numbers 13:28-29Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.” 
    Numbers 13:30Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 
    Numbers 13:31-33But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” 
    Numbers 14:1-5Israel Refuses to Enter CanaanSo all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 
    Numbers 14:5-9Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying:“The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey. ’ Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” 
    Numbers 14:10And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.

    Intimidation by Numbers, Size & Strength

    The spies all returned and showed off the incredible fruit of the land just as God had said. However, the majority of these spies came back fearful as they were intimidated by the sheer numbers of the nations in the land AND the physical size of some of those nations AND the strength of the fortifications and walled cities. To them, what they were faced with was impossible!
    What these men saw in this new land was something none of them ever encountered before in their lives and because of what they saw, they were greatly intimidated. They quickly forgot the lessons they’ve learned in their journey across the desert. They forgot, in their fear, that God was greater than the mightiest army in the world. They forgot that God showed His great love for them in not allowing them to thirst and hunger by miraculously providing for them in their desert journey.
    When faced with this previously unknown obstacle, they quickly turned their back on all that God had shown them with their haste to return to the place of 400 years of bondage to a cruel and unjust nation. Blinded through fear, they returned to their most basic instincts…run. It did not matter how torturous their experiences in Egypt had been for 400 years, they did NOT want to face what lied ahead of them.
    Only 2 of the spies returned from that land with a good report. These 2 men were Joshua and Caleb. They were the only 2 that learned the lessons of the desert and knew they could trust God to come through for them in this new land of promise. They alone remembered how their great God slew the Egyptians who sought to re-enslave them. They remembered how when faced with impossible odds with no food or water in the desert God made the earth come forth with both manna and water. The lessons of the desert were not lost on these 2 men of faith. They did not see those giants as obstacles but as a new lesson to increase their growth and faith. It was not courage these 2 men possessed, it was a confidence born out of faith in a God who has shown Himself mighty and demonstrated His commitment towards His chosen people.
    However, no matter the faith shown by these two men, the rest of Israel were ruled by their fear, so they did not enter the land promised to them by God but were forced to return to the desert where they would all perish from twenty years old and up. Not until that whole generation of fear ruled people perished in their wandering in the desert were the rest of the children of Israel to enter the land of promise. For in the economy of God, only faith was the currency of inheritance. Unbelief and fear had to die out so that only faith would be allowed to claim the prize.

    David and Goliath

    Another example of how fear ruling through intimidation prevented God’s people from defeating their enemy. We all are familiar with the story. The Philistines were at war with Israel and they sent out their champion to challenge Israel every day for forty days.
    Samuel 17:3-11 And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him. He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. 
    1 Samuel 17:16 For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening. 
    The size of this giant, over nine feet tall, the size of his weapons, dwarfed even the tallest among the Israelites, even King Saul. To say they were being intimidated by this giant of a man was an understatement. They were literally terrified! No one would dare face a beast such as this in a one on one combat. To do so would be suicide. Add to that the cost of losing? To be made slaves of an enemy known to have little or no regard to those who would be their slaves? This is the kind of fear or rather terror that paralyzes men. No one in their right mind could face this terror of a man. Until one from among them, not even of their ranks, said, “I will.”
    1 Samuel 17:17-27 And Jesse said to David his son, “Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers. Also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See if your brothers are well, and bring some token from them.” Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. And David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper and took the provisions and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the encampment as the host was going out to the battle line, shouting the war cry. And Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. And David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage and ran to the ranks and went and greeted his brothers. As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him. All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.” And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” And the people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.” 
    1 Samuel 17:31-37 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
    1 Samuel 17:38-40 Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.
    David had no fear when it came the Goliath. To him, this giant was no different than those wild beasts he had slain while protecting his father’s flocks. Add to that, this creature had the audacity to defy the armies of the living God of whom David served and worshipped. Who would dare do such a thing except he be of those outside the covenant of God, an uncircumcised heathen.
    All Israel were terrified of this giant, even the king of Israel. It seems that all have forgotten the glory of The Lord revealed to their fathers. All have forgotten the promises of God to them and to their fathers who, with a strong arm and an outstretched arm The Lord of Glory defeated the giants and the wicked nations who previously occupied this land they now lived. All with that notable exception, David, son of Jesse, the anointed king of Israel that the prophet Samuel anointed according to God’s word. This David was of a different spirit, a different heart. His was a heart that hungered and thirsted after God as a dear thirsts after water. His was a heart that worshiped the God of Heaven and Earth. His was a heart that had no fear, no place for fear to get a foothold.
    After hearing of David’s bold proclamation, King Saul wanted to hear this for himself and after he heard David’s words and was convinced the boy had no fear and was insistent on facing that giant, King Saul insisted that David use his own armor when he goes to face the giant. David tried but could not use them as he was never in need of such things before. The only weapon David knew was his sling and the confidence that his God was always with him, to strengthen him in time of adversity.
    Isn’t it just like those who refuse to enjoin the battle themselves will offer that which they trusted in the most to the one who will go instead of them. “Let me offer you some of my most prized advice…” they will say to you. Those motivated most by fear will almost always want to advise those with faith what they have placed their own trust in. What they fail to realize is that their trust in their own devices have failed them, even though those were their most prized. It is not surprising that David refused King Saul’s best offer. If God has rejected Saul from being king over Israel and has anointed another, better than he, why should there be anything of value from Saul that David should trust in? David said, “I don’t know this armor…”. David had faced a lion and a bear without the need of all this armor. His only shield and armor was his faith in the Almighty of whom he worshiped and trusted in day after day as a trusted shepherd over his father’s flocks. He did not need King Saul’s armor then nor felt he needed it now that he was to face this giant. The rest of the story we know. David slew the giant with a single slingshot to the forehead and then cut off the head of this giant. Israel was saved and years later, David became king after King Saul fell in battle.
    Fear raised its head before the children of Israel as they were to enter the promised land and caused them to be intimidated enough to want to return to the lives they were delivered of, slavery.
    Fear raised itself up to intimidate the hosts of Israel in the guise of a towering giant of Gath known as Goliath. A mountain of a man, not known in Israel for generations. So fearful was the whole army of Israel, not a man dare stand up to the demands of this fearsome warrior until the future King, David did. Only faith was able to cast down the arguments this giant of terror presented to the children of Israel.

    Job and His Epic Battle with Fear

    Now, this third segment of the study of fear is what I consider the most epic battle of all the Old Testament. The study of Job has mostly been conducted from the perspective of his great patience, however, I wish to reveal the real reasons for Job’s trials, testing, sufferings and final victory. As I have shown in a previous study, the meaning of the names given in this book are key in unlocking the mystery of truth that beforehand, has been hidden from the most casual of readers. In fact, to truly understand the true nature of this book is to have been one admonished by those truths by the One given to us all who believe, to lead us and guide us to all truth…the Holy Spirit. I am one of those receiving both the warnings and admonitions revealed in the story of Job’s life. As a result of these experiences, the Holy Spirit has revealed to me what the true nature and message is of the story of Job.
    Job 1:1There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.
    From the outset, Job is being depicted as a God fearing man who has gained much in the way of earthly gain with a large family. He had only one issue.
    Job 1:5So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.
    This issue was that he lived in fear. Fear that all could be lost if any of his sons would sin by cursing God in their hearts. Now most godly parents must have this same fear. It can be called, “Fear of What If!” Being a parent myself, I am familiar with the uncertainty and possibility that my own child may choose differently than how he was raised. I have two choices before me concerning this. I can either live in fear that my child MAY turn away from the truth or I can live in peace by placing my child in the capable hands of my heavenly Father. That same One who promises that He will never leave me nor forsake me and has demonstrated this promise year after year, CAN He be trusted to do the same for the gift of life He has given us in this child.
    Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way he should go,And when he is old he will not depart from it.
    For Job, the act of sacrificing for the fear his sons MAY sin, is NOT an act of faith but demonstrates a very real fear. Now God, who knows all things concerning His children, sees clearly that this act of sacrifice Job so diligently performs , is not an act of trust in God’s ability to keep Job’s sons but an act out of fear. Since the economy of God’s kingdom is that of faith and not fear, which has torment, then God sees that this issue of fear in Job’s heart MUST be removed.
    Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
    1 John 4:18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

    God Has Formulated A Plan

    Jeremiah 29:11For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
    Beginning in verse 6 of chapter one, we are given a behind the scenes view of what transpires in heaven as God implements His plan.
    Job 1:6-12Now there was a day when the sons (the angels) of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (the adversary and accuser) also came among them.And the Lord said to Satan, From where did you come? Then Satan answered the Lord, From going to and fro on the earth and from walking up and down on it.And the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who [reverently] fears God and abstains from and shuns evil [because it is wrong]?Then Satan answered the Lord, Does Job [reverently] fear God for nothing?Have You not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have conferred prosperity and happiness upon him in the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.And the Lord said to Satan (the adversary and the accuser), Behold, all that he has is in your power, only upon the man himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.
    Only once before in scripture are we afforded such a view as this. It was during the reign of King Ahab, that wicked king of Israel who married that woman Jezebel.
    1 Kings 22:19-23And Micaiah said, Hear the word of the Lord:I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right hand and on His left.And the Lord said, Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth- gilead? One said this way, another said that way.Then there came forth a spirit [of whom I am about to tell] and stood before the Lord and said, I will entice him.The Lord said to him, By what means? And he said, I will go forth and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets. [The Lord] said, You shall entice him and succeed also. Go forth and do it.So the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets; and the Lord has spoken evil concerning you.
    The judgment of God was against King Ahab for his wickedness and a prophet was sent with this word. In this passage and the one in Job, God allows an evil spirit, in Job’s case, Satan , to come before Him. God’s plan was to administer discipline to His servant Job. This discipline may seem harsh to us but only God has that unique knowledge as to what measures are necessary to accomplish His purposes in our lives. This book of Job is as clear a picture we can see how God works behind the scenes to bring about a change of heart. The extremes we see being implemented in Job’s life is severe by our own standards but necessary by God’s perspective. For only by these can Job be delivered of these fears that are controlling his life. This story also serves to demonstrate how powerful the effects of fear have on our lives.
    Job’s fear of what his son’s MIGHT do is a direct reflection of the lack of trust he holds towards God. Yes, you heard correctly. Fear towards anything in our lives can be considered direct proof of our lack of trust/faith in God. Fear prevented the children of Israel from receiving the very inheritance God had planned for them. Fear of that giant Goliath caused Israel to freeze in terror even though God’s desire was to give to them the necks of their enemy. If fear is still the ruler in ANY part of our lives, the fruit of that fear is to prevent us from achieving and receiving all that God desires for us to have and achieve.
    God allowed Satan into His throne room for His express purpose to ENTICE Satan to accomplish God’s purpose. Understand this…when evil comes in our lives…there is a purpose…a design…a plan that God has developed in order to bring us to a place of submission to His will. Evil is only allowed to go so far, as God Himself, establishes the limits evil is allowed to go.
    John 10:10The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
    Satan’s expressed purpose is to steal, kill and destroy, while God’s expressed purpose is to bring life out of death. God enticed Satan to do exactly what He knew Satan wanted to do anyway…WITHOUT letting him in on His plans. And in that process, God set certain limits as to how far Satan would be allowed to go. So you see, God’s boasting of Job was genuine but given in Satan’s presence to entice Satan to God’s will without his knowing it. As we continue to read in chapters 1 & 2, the loss of everything was not enough to begin that change in Job’s heart. Job remained faithful in word and deed. So greater measures would be required and Satan was allowed to touch Job’s flesh but limited to that he would not be allowed to kill Job.
    1 Corinthians 10:13For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
    Many have viewed this verse with fear and misunderstanding. In view of what happened to Job, most of use have not had to endure so great a hardship. However, what God knows versus what we believe are many times two different things. We really do not know what we are able to bear until we face that trial or testing of our faith, otherwise known as tribulation. Tribulation is a word that best describes Job’s experience.
    So let’s take a moment to learn what tribulation and its purpose is:
    trib·u·la·tion (trby-lshn)
    Great affliction, trial, or distress; suffering: Their tribulation has finally passed
    An experience that tests one’s endurance, patience, or faith
    a cause of distress
    a state of suffering or distress
    As you can see by its definition, the word “tribulation” best fits Job’s experience. Now let’s look at what God’s word has to say about tribulation in the life of a believer.
    John 16:33These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
    Jesus said that we will have tribulation while in the world. At this point He was NOT referring to that great tribulational period but spoke generally of it. That which every follower of His will have to endure.
    Matthew 13:20-21But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
    In the parable of the sower, this tribulation is also equated with persecution. This is shown as a cause for stumbling. It also implies that this tribulation is not just for those who are among stony ground but all will face tribulation and/or persecution. Only those who have no root in themselves become offended.
    Romans 5:3-5And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
    This verse reveals the purpose of tribulations in our lives. It is not for destruction nor for judgment but its intent is to build in each of us perseverance, which is patience; character; hope. The purpose of tribulation in our lives is to build us up. For righteousness to be built up in us, something else, of necessity, must be torn down. You do not want to build on a foundation of sand or a faulty or cracked foundation. First remove that which is defective so that a new, firm foundation can be built. To illustrate this further, let’s look at what God told the Prophet Jeremiah.
    Jeremiah 1:10See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms,To root out and to pull down,To destroy and to throw down,To build and to plant.”
    The work of removing the old established lies in our lives takes twice as much effort as does the building and planting afterwards. This is why the Apostle Paul encourages us to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. It IS work! At times, this work can be very painful as we are confronted with our selfish nature that stands in the way of God’s building which is built with humility and submission through obedience. Perhaps it would be good to remember this simple phrase, “Faith laid the foundation, while Obedience builds the house.”
    Romans 12:9-13Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
    Tribulation is being depicted here as a NORMAL and necessary aspect of the Christian walk. So let us not be surprised or discomfited when faced with hardships, trials and testings of our faith. These are nothing more than those giants the children of Israel had to face and defeat in order to receive the prize of their inheritance God promised. So it is with us, we too must face down our respective adversaries in our own lives in order to receive the promise of peace and everlasting life in Christ. This is the reason we are all urged to put on the armor of Christ. These are our battles. These are the trials and testings of our faith. These are those challenges we must overcome, to be found worthy of that high calling of Jesus Christ. In order to grow up and mature in our most holy faith, these times of tribulation, trials & testing of our faith MUST be overcome. The reward for overcoming is the Crown of Life as spoken of in Revelations 2:10:
    Revelation 2:10Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
    So what should our attitude be since we all will suffer tribulation during the course of our lives in Christ. The Apostle Paul says it best, mirroring what Jesus said:
    Romans 8:18-19For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 
    Hebrews 12:1-2Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
    Now for my final thought regarding that which we have learned is the purpose of tribulation in our lives. We will continue to read in Hebrews immediately following verse two above:
    Hebrews 12:3-11For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;For whom the Lord loves He chastens,And scourges every son whom He receives.”If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
    Now that we understand better what it is that God is intending through Job’s sufferings, let us resume the narrative. After all that Job has suffered, first with the loss of all his possessions, then the loss of all his children, Job did not sin with his lips. Then after the loss of his health with grievous sores throughout his body and his wife urging him to give up by cursing God, Job still did not sin with his lips.
    Job 2:9-10Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
    After all this, something else occurred that pushed Job over the edge. Let’s take a quick look at the beginning of the next chapter to see these results:
    Job 3:1-3Job Deplores His BirthAfter this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. And Job spoke, and said:“May the day perish on which I was born,And the night in which it was said,‘A male child is conceived. ’
    This is extraordinary! Job cursing the day of his birth! What happened? Let’s go back to those last few verses of the previous chapter:
    Job 2:11-13Job’s Three FriendsNow when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.
    Apparently, the only thing that happened was the arrival of 3 friends. No one spoke a word. They just all mourned with him for a week. Nothing else! What is it about the arrival of these three friends pushed Job over the edge to finally sin with his lips. For a man does commit sin when he virtually blames the God who gave him life for having done so. Job had not received more afflictions otherwise that would have been recorded. There is something VERY significant about who these three ‘friends’ are. Something so terrible about these ‘friends’ that their very arrival affected Job so severely that he finally gave up.
    The answer to this riddle is in the meaning of their names and where they came from:
    The first is Eliphaz, the Temanite:
    Eliphaz = “my God is (fine) gold” “God of Gold, Riches”
    Temanite = “inhabitant of the south; earthly wisdom; religious legalism”
    The first one is “The God of Gold” coming from “Earthly wisdom; religious legalism”
    Next is Bildad, the Shuhite:
    Bildad = son of contention; contender
    Shuhite = accuser
    The second is “son of contention” coming from “accuser”
    Next is Zophar, the Naamathite:
    Zophar: chatterer; agreeable, agreeableness; compromiser
    Naamathite: Foolish; wisdom of Fools
    The third friend is a “compromiser” coming from “the wisdom of fools”. A fool is defined, “One who does not fear God”.
    Wow! What kind of friends are these to a righteous man? We all know that being friends with the world is to be enemies with God.
    James 4:4….Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
    God said that Job was a righteous man. How can a righteous man have friends such as these? Let’s look at these verses again:
    Job 2:11-13Job’s Three FriendsNow when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.
    Three things we can see right away:
    Each came from their own place
    They were not near but far away
    They could not recognize Job
    Consider this for a moment. Was Job always a righteous man? Since we know today that there was only One who was born righteous as He was born not of man but of God, then it stands to reason that Job was a sinful man before all this took place.
    Galatians 3:6…just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
    We were all born into that sinful nature. At some point prior to this story of Job’s trials, Job had a conversion experience where he forsook the world and all its trappings and believed God. In this way, it was accounted to Job for righteousness. Only while he was in the world would he have been ‘friends’ with the world. So at some earlier point in Job’s life, he was indeed, friends with these men as the meanings of their names indicate. And so we were all friends with the god of gold & riches; sons of the accuser and walked with the wisdom of fools and compromised with the lie.
    These men came from their own places. Note: they did not come from places of righteousness. They came from a great distance away. This can also be viewed as they came from a great distance in Job’s past. Lastly, they no longer recognized Job. Literally, it would have been difficult to recognize Job because of his sores but philosophically, they no longer recognized the man they once new because the righteousness of God has transformed him from death to life. Even so, why did their arrival so affect Job that it pushed him over the edge? Seeing as how Job was now a righteous man and apparently has been one for some time for God to have blessed him so, it stands to reason that these men and what they represent have long been driven out of his life and therefore had no place.
    Up to this time, Job had no clue why all this adversity has befallen him. Left to wondering the cause, just seeing these specters from his past of whom he no longer had any dealings with, caused him to feel that all he had gained; all he had accomplished had come to nothing. For now, he is back from where he started. His old ‘friends’ were back to haunt him and reclaim the prize they had lost. At these men’s arrival, all hope was lost and Job gave up. With the loss of all his possessions, the hope remained that what was taken can be restored. With the additional loss of his children, life continued with the hope that more children can still be born. Even with the loss of his health, hope remained that God would heal him. All this changed when these three men showed up. Now it appears that all that he had gained was forever lost as he was returned to what he was BEFORE God came into his life. Surely now, there was no more hope. All hope for a rescue; all hope for a reprieve, all hope for a future was lost, for now, his old life has returned to torture him with the sins of his past.
    In the first of the discourses with these men, Job’s response fully illustrated this fatal view of himself as he felt sorry for himself. As these men continued, their real attitudes became more and more apparent as they continued to press Job about his ‘obvious’ sin. Job defended himself so vehemently that he even dared to voice his challenge to the most High of his own innocence to any wrongdoing. He went so far as to lay blame on God for His allowing all this suffering to come upon an innocent man. This continued for many chapters until the end of chapter 31 where the last sentence of that chapter stated simply, “The words of Job are ended.”
    Let us backtrack for a moment and look at this fear that Job had. as stated earlier, he feared that his sons may sin against God and so he sacrificed daily to ‘cover his bases’ so to speak. He was busy trying to provide ‘insurance’ just in case God would be displeased. Fear is actually a byproduct of an unbelieving heart. Adam & Eve hid themselves and covered their nakedness with fig leaves because of fear. Fear came when they disobeyed God by eating the fruit He warned them not to eat. As a result of disobedience, fear came. Unbelief has that same effect. An unbelieving heart is a fearful heart.
    In Job 3:25, Job expressed:
    Job 3:25For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me,And what I dreaded has happened to me.
    The intent of God throughout this whole ordeal was not to address the symptom but rather to focus on where the fruit known as fear came from. It came from a heart that simply did not believe God is who He said He is. When we as Christians begin to trust in our own righteousness, namely that first time we confessed Jesus as Lord of our lives but do not continue in Him, we tend to trust in an action taken long ago and have left following hard after the Lord. As a result of this, we do things that we believe will keep judgment and wrath away from our doors. We convince ourselves that as long as we make the necessary ‘sacrifices’; go to church, pay our tithes, read a little bible now and again; do all these things, then that will be enough to please a demanding God. Right!? However, like Job, when adversity falls upon us, we cry out innocently; we have done nothing wrong! Why have these things come upon us? Why is God doing this to us? In this way, we begin to lay a charge accusing God for being unjust. We place ourselves as judges of the very One who made the greatest sacrifice in history, the suffering and death of His own dear Son.
    Back to the story….

    The last sentence of chapter 31 is, “The words of Job are ended.”
    He finally decided that defending himself was a worthless and futile endeavor. He grew weary of the persistent accusations. The only way to shut up the mouths of his accusers was to quit arguing with them. We see this is true when we look at the very next sentence:
    Job 32:1So these three men ceased answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.
    What a relief. No more accusations. No more defending himself. Finally some relief….right?
    Job 32:2-3Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.
    Wait a minute! Who is this? I thought there was only 3 men with Job! Apparently, there was one more person, who, until now, kept silent. His name is Elihu and as he speaks, he refers to himself as younger than all the others. The surprise to me was when I asked the Lord who was this man. He said to look up the meaning of his name and here it is:

    Elihu = God Himself

    The more I read of what Elihu was saying to Job, the more his words and the obvious tone sounded like the Holy Spirit. His speech sounds more like someone reasoning together with Job than preaching. It wasn’t until later, when God the Father spoke could I confirm my thoughts. When the Father spoke, it was to challenge Job in a way that would make any man tremble. With such authority and command was His words and tone. I have heard His voice at times in my own life and each time, I literally fell to my face and trembled, so commanding was His tone and words.
    With all that Elihu spoke and the reasons he gave for not speaking sooner, the real reason comes down to this. As long as Job or us continue to refuse to acknowledge our own guilt but defend ourselves, we shut out the voice of the Holy Spirit. We are too busy listening to our own hearts than to receive the counsel from on high. In my own battle I was enduring at that time in my life, I too had a revisit from those influences of the past I had previously defeated. However, this time I could not as easily defeat them nor could I make them go away or shut up. Although I cried out to God, they would not go away. I too defended myself as Job did. I too placed the blame fully upon the shoulders of God. When I read those words speaking of how Job’s words were ended and saw how the Holy Spirit finally spoke, I too ended my own words. For me too, just as I quit speaking, the Holy Spirit was finally able to speak to me and give me instruction.
    This is what we do. We all have that tendency to do what Job did in defense of ourselves in our particular unique situation. We too failed to realize the reasons these things have come upon us. We all failed to see God’s hand in our adversities nor have we divined His purposes. The answer cannot come as long as we fight for ourselves. This is a classic example to describe what Jesus said, “If you seek to save your life, you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake, you shall find it.”
    Job 40:6-8God’s Challenge to JobThen the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:“Now prepare yourself like a man;I will question you, and you shall answer Me:“Would you indeed annul My judgment?Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?
    God’s question hit its mark and destroyed all of Job’s resolve. Job must now relinquish all his bitterness and self pity for the true nature of his sin as been revealed. Job was self righteous, lifting his own righteousness above that of God. In this, Job realized how little faith he truly had in God.
    After this, the speaking of Elihu and then the Father Himself, God finally got what He was after; the last words of Job to God recorded in this book:
    Job 42:1-6Job’s Repentance and RestorationThen Job answered the Lord and said:“I know that You can do everything,And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge? ’Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.Listen, please, and let me speak;You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me. ’“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,But now my eye sees You.Therefore I abhor myself,And repent in dust and ashes.”
    It is not until we come face to face with Truth can we see ourselves in a light that does not lie. Only then can we see and abhor ourselves and realize that it is selfishness in the heart that separates us from God. Only by the hearing of His voice within us are we able to see ourselves as He sees us. Only then can we see the incredible worth of His Goodness and Mercy towards us. Only then can we be made clean and have our hearts established on a firm foundation.
    As a final proof that fear is nothing more than the fruit of a heart that has little faith or unbelief can clearly be seen in the following excerpt.
    Matthew 8:23-26Wind and Wave Obey Jesus23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”26 But He said to them, “ Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
    The lessons shown in this study reveal how fear paralyzes and causes us to run away from the very promise that God has offered to us and has committed Himself to fight for us. Fear through intimidation is the weapon used time and again by the enemy of our souls to turn us away from God’s righteousness. And finally, through the life of Job, we see that fear with all its torments, is nothing but the fruit of an evil heart of unbelief, distrust. We can now see that there is only one solution to fear and that is the perfect love of the Father as He is committed to delivering us from all that will hinder our coming into the fulfillment of His promises. God demonstrated in the book of Job the breadth, the length; the width and the height of His love by allowing us to take a peek of how He works in heaven to accomplish His will and design. He has thereby shown us His divine handiwork which is too wonderful for us to fully comprehend. What we have seen in this epic story of Job versus fear, is perfect love in action with the final resolution that Job would be called upon to forgive his antagonists and restoring to Job double what he had lost. So great is God’s love for us in that nothing will prevent Him from accomplishing the same in us, regardless of the severity of our need. God truly is ALMIGHTY!
    1 John 4:18-19There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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    1. Am printing this for a better study of it tomorrow! It makes 13 pages if the font is reduced to #10. Thanks Jerry, I shall comment once I have something to say. :)

    2. Well brother!..First of all thanks to God for this message! And thanks to Job for going through in obedience. Thanks to the devil as well for being an unwitting tool to deliver Job. hahahaaha
      After reading this we were discussing some things together from the past in our life together to see the signs of fear for as you said, we do not realise just how much fear controls everything we do.
      I recalled the time when I first came to God. I came at the complete breakdown of my marriage to a woman I had loved and had 1 beautiful child with. I was devastated that my pride had brought the marriage to an end...or so it seemed to be only pride at that time, but it was a lot more than that...anyway. But when I finally turned to God in my hour of crises, having ignored Him all my life, I cried in our bedroom alone, "Oh God help me, I have stuffed my life up!" I saw today how fear of making more messes in life, and fear of losing this marriage at the time was what was driving me to ask God to help me. The result was that we were divorced and I went after Jesus and she went her way into darkness.
      Next I recalled how at every altar call by a missionary type preacher I would go out the front wanting to give my life to God's call, go anywhere, do anything etc etc. But now I can see that it was fear of not going and thus displeasing God that was the inner motivation.
      Then fast forward to 2008 and I recall how the events leading up to us selling our family home and giving the money away were again all motivated by this same fear. I had made vows to do anything for God NO MATTER THE COST. Oh so noble! :( These were vows that roped me into doing extreme things for God, afraid that if I did not OBEY MY OWN vows I would not know His blessing and pleasure. The cost was that all my children and my wife felt very hard done by God, Who failed to provide what I had said would happen through our heroic obedience. :(

      1. What you missed in your explanation about talking about that fear is that your motivation for doing all you did was to GAIN that which He had already given. You were trying to EARN His love and using your vows as your "bargaining" tool. This is no different than those who would come to Jesus and proclaim all the good they have done in His Name but would find themselves rejected because what they did was to benefit themselves and they never came into that relationship with Him to learn of Him and follow Him in humble obedience instead of prideful self-serving service. When these repent, it is only to gain what they've lost. This kind of repentance is the same kind rejected by God when Esau sought repentance with tears. God hated Esau but loved David. There are two kinds of repentance and I speak about both in that message entitled "Two Ways of Repentance".

    3. Then I saw how everything I do is motivated that way. Serving because I fear not serving. Torment? Absolutely. Rest? No way. Does anyone notice? Only the mature. Most live this way. I saw that all the verses on leaving all to follow Me, loving Me more than family etc, would only drive fear to make me swear an oath to myself that I would do whatever it takes to serve God, no matter the personal cost. The results are terrible!
      Ps 55 David says You do not desire burnt offerings, or else I would give it. Yep...Do this Do that..easy peezy, I can do that. But truth in the inner parts is different and sets us free from slavery to bondage of fear, which we have suffered under all our lives.
      I saw how I have simply put on my own courage with gritted teeth over the top of a root of fear...just as I have put my own righteousness over the top of unrighteousness. Even as we talked about this, I could hear the hiss of the snake in the background saying, "You do not even know what it is like to live without me...God will get you to go to dangerous places and to dangerous need me, I will keep you safe! Look at all those Israelites who cowered before Goliath...they did not die, I saved them, it was I fear who saved them! That fool David was just lucky that's all..."
      I am fasting now, and together these roots are going to all come out...the snakes shall come creeping out of their hiding places and bow before Jesus.

    4. Ahh but yes, they will not budge unless God brings me through to true repentance.I cannot help myself, I am a man full of knowledge and all I do is to be seen by men. But I sick of it. Oh Father please give me light that breaks the fascade of fear, please grant me repentance. God knows I will wash a dogs feet if HE asked me to...if only I may boast of it!


    Item Reviewed: INTIMIDATION…the Fear factor Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jerry Sundberg
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