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Peace and Safety

Peace and Safety

 Proverbs 3 23 26

Solomon teaches us not to let wisdom and understanding out of our sight, and to preserve sound judgment. In my first sociology class in university, in fact, one of the first classes I took, the professor proudly stepped up to the microphone and announce that “God is a myth and Christianity is a crutch created by man to answer what man could not find an answer to.” A young lady next to me was immediately incensed and stood up to say that she did not appreciate that comment and her faith has carried her through many perils up to that time. Naturally, a debate ensued between the two of them and no agreement came forth.

Later that year, I took a philosophy course and the professor said that our first assignment was to answer the question, “Why should I be moral?” The next few weeks much debate ensued, rhetoric was taught, logic was eschewed, but no definitive answer was given.

Solomon does give us a positive, strong, and very personal reason why we should preserve sound judgment, seek understanding, and gain wisdom.

“Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.”

                                                                                                                Proverbs 3:23-26 NIV

Today more than ever, with everything that is happening in the world around us, we want to walk in safety without fear. What we are talking about is not only spiritually and morally but also very real physically.  John Gill writes,

 “Then shall thou walk in thy way safely,.... In the way of thy duty and business, without fear of any enemy; having in sight the Captain of salvation gone before, and walking in such ways of pleasantness and peace as Wisdom's are; and having such a lamp to the feet, and such a light unto the paths, as the Gospel and its doctrines be;”

God is with us in our coming and our going; physically and spiritually. Rabbi Chaim shares with us that the Hebrew word for walk is Halakah and its root is Halak. The word itself is a feminine word and carries with it the idea of nurturing, love, and the care that God has for us. The word ‘walk’ in its deepest context refers to a way of living. When we walk in God’s way, we are assured of being kept safe.

One of the biggest challenges people have is getting enough sleep. In fact, over 35% of people say they don’t get enough sleep and over half of the population feel sleepy during the day. This is aggravated when people report that between 10% and 30% have a problem with insomnia.

 

Throughout time, fears and anxieties have caused many a sleepless night. But one of the biggest challenges is stress and worry. Elizabeth Scott, MS writes,

 “Many of the stressors we face in modern life, such as traffic jams, difficult co-workers, or relationship conflicts, can trigger a fight-or-flight response, and prolonged exposure to this stress without relaxation can result in shorter sleep duration and poorer quality sleep…. When you experience a perceived threat (physical or psychological, real or imagined), your body's hormonal stress response gets triggered, creating a cascade of physical changes that lead to the release of glucocorticoids like cortisol by the endocrine system. The release of cortisol and other stress hormones creates a burst of energy that allows you to fight or run from real and present danger.”

Living the life God wants us to live – a good, honest, respectful, and intentional life we will receive what Proverbs 3:24 promises, “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

Do you know anyone that has no fears? How about you? What fears do you have? People fear things from as small as a little spider to as large as nuclear war. From as real as a car crash to as imagined failing or succeeding at something. A fear or phobias are something that you feel or know will make you unsafe or unsure. Fear can cause you to have a slight tremor or icky feeling to passing out from an anxiety attack.

All fear, real or imagined, is experienced in your mind and causes a real, physical response in your body. The body's fear response releases cortisol and adrenaline increases your blood pressure and heart rate. This gives you the fuel for fight or flight.

There are things in life we should be afraid of but having wisdom and understanding will keep us from those. Most of the things people fear will never happen. Wouldn’t it be nice to be relatively stress and anxiety-free? Why does Solomon tell us not to be afraid of sudden disaster or ruin? Because God is there, He is with us.

Four years ago, I was in a nasty head-on crash. A guy came around a blind corner at a 120 kmph in a 40 kmph zone and just smoked us. I was driving my 2500HD GMC and we were pushed back 30 feet from the impact. My right rear tire was halfway up a barricade keeping us from going over the cliff into a lake. I was pinned in the driver’s seat, and it took first responders an hour and a half to cut me out. My friend’s wife was not so lucky, she was sitting in the back passenger side, and she was rendered a quadriplegic.

Up until this time I was always fearful of what would happen if something like this occurred. We were an hour from a major town, on a highway in the middle of nowhere, and there was light traffic. Compounding this, I was claustrophobic and here I was pinned, I couldn’t move. I remembered when I was with my father while he was having a heart attack and all he did was repeat the name of Jesus and he had this total look of peace. I wanted the same, so I did the same.

I had total peace! I was able to be a calming force for my wife and her best friend. I kept them focused and calm till help arrived and it did. People came from all around and they were doing everything they could till the first responders arrived 30 minutes later. 1 John 4:18 says “Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear”, and it does, God loves you perfectly. With this knowledge you have can have a beautiful sleep and leave all your fears behind.

Chuck Groot is an author, speaker, teacher. His love of God has spanned over 6 decades and he finds the more he studies the Bible, the less he knows, the more he succeeds the more dependant on God he becomes, and that there is nothing outside of loving God our Father, and being loved in return.

 

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Bibliography

5 Things You Never Knew About Fear. (2021, September 12). Retrieved from Northwest Medicine: https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/emotional-health/5-things-you-never-knew-about-fear

Chaim Bentorah, L. B. (2018, February 24). Hebrew Word Study : Halakah. Retrieved from Chaim Bentorah: https://www.chaimbentorah.com/2018/02/hebrew-word-study-halakah/

Fears and Phobias. (2021, September 12). Retrieved from Kids Health: https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/phobias.html

Gargano, M. (2012, November 20). When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. Retrieved from Journal standard: https://www.journalstandard.com/article/20121120/BLOGS/311209903

Gill, J. (1999). Commentary on Proverbs 3:23. Retrieved from Study Light: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-3.html

Kastner, J. (2016, August 31). Top 5 Scriptures That Banish Fear. Retrieved from Huffpost: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/top-5-scriptures-that-ban_b_11786842#:~:text=Isaiah%2043%3A1%20%E2%80%9CDon',hope%20and%20limit%20our%20victories.

Proverbs 3. (2021, September 12). Retrieved from Blue Letter Bible: https://www.blueletterbible.org/niv/pro/3/1/s_631001

What does Proverbs 3:24 mean? (202, September 12). Retrieved from Bible Ref: https://www.bibleref.com/Proverbs/3/Proverbs-3-24.html