Imagine being terrorized. Your life in constant danger, and you do not know how to deal with it. Are there days when you think it is the last day on earth for you? Are you living in constant fear of what may happen today?
Somebody comes along and tells you to take action, and do not be afraid. Such an idea seems to be impossible for you to do.
Imagine trying to thresh wheat in a winepress…of all places! To thresh means to separate the chaff from the wheat–a gentle breeze in the outdoor air is needed to winnow the chaff. As all is thrown up into the air, both chaff and wheat, the wind blows away the lightweight chaff, and the heavier wheat falls to the ground. However,…in a winepress, the surrounding walls prevent the wind from blowing in the center and threshing is not likely to be effective.
You are hiding…fearing for your life…fighting an uphill battle…for a few grains of wheat. At this point, the angel of the Lord appears, saying, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” He addresses you as…what? What is this…mighty warrior? Who…you?
What is Fear?
Imagine being asked to do something you know you cannot do. This is what Gideon faced. Imagine how he felt. Instead of meeting the challenge, Gideon says he is not the one for the job. The angel responds by telling Gideon that he is to lead the battle against the enemy. The enemy outnumbers Israel. This enemy is greatly feared by Israel–for good reason! The Midianites have been ravaging and ransacking your people at will, leaving behind death and destruction in their wake.
Note the following verses:
Judges 6:3-4 (KJV)
(3) “And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; (4) And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.”
Because of this attack, Gideon’s heart is terrorized with fear.
- Fear is a strong emotional reaction to a perceived imminent danger characterized by a fight, flight or freeze response.
- Fear can be real or imagined, rational or irrational, normal or abnormal.
- Fear acts as a protective reaction, placed in us by our Creator to activate all of our physical defense systems when we face real danger. Fear triggers the release of adrenaline in the body that both prepares and propels us to action often called “fight or flight.”
- Fear is a natural emotion designed by God. However, fearfulness is not designed by God, for fearfulness suggests living in a state of fear.
- Fear is a translation of the Hebrew word yare, which means “to be afraid, stand in awe or fear.” [W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words (New York: Thomas Nelson, 1985), s.v. “Fear.”] When Gideon was attempting to thresh wheat in the winepress and the angel of the Lord appeared to him, “He was afraid.” Judges 6:27