Faith vs fear

Deuteronomy 1.19-40

This note was originally published on Tuesday 24 February 2015.

‘In spite of this, you did not trust the Lord your God.’


Have you ever thought or prayed, ‘If only I could see a miracle or a healing, my faith would be stronger’?


Deuteronomy 1.19-40


She stood at the prison gate; her term served; she was about to be set free, to be in control of her life again. But she had been in prison for years... She was afraid of the world outside those walls that had kept her locked up, but safe, for so long.

Moses announces, ‘Now is the time for you to take possession of the land! Don’t be afraid!’ (v 21). But the people ‘rebelled’ (v 26) and ‘grumbled’ (v 27), refusing to believe that God –who had brought them this far – would finish what he had started. Their hearts melted in fear (v 28), instead of being filled with faith.

Spot the similarities? The Israelites have seen armies defeated, the miraculous provision of food, and pillars of fire and cloud... and yet still they don’t believe. So Moses tries to reassure the Israelites with three pictures of God: as a strong soldier (v 30), as a loving Father (v 31), and as a faithful guide (v 33).

Fear paralyses and fixes us to the spot; being faithful means stepping out in obedience, following God’s command, trusting him to fight for us, carry us, lead us forward.


If there is a situation facing you which fills you with fear, use one of Moses’ pictures of God as you pray. Then get up and go in obedience and faith, trusting that God goes with you.