The Fear of Man Is Folly

Read: 1 Samuel 15:24-30

I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel. (v. 26)

The Bible talks about two types of fear: the fear of God, which is “the beginning of wisdom” (Ps. 111:10), and the fear of man, which is the state of foolishness. There is no specific biblical verse supporting the latter, but there are many biblical stories that demonstrate it, including today’s reading.

The first anointed king of Israel, Saul, had everything going his way until he violated the command of the Lord. In his confession to Samuel, Saul essentially admitted, “I was afraid of the men, and so I gave in to them.” Leaders in desperate need of popularity and position may give in to the opinions of the majority, compromising their conscience, sense of righteousness, and God-given mandate and wisdom. This is what happened to Saul. He feared public judgment more than the judgment of God. In the end, God’s judgment was severe, extending beyond Saul to the whole kingdom.

The fear of God leads to wisdom: sensitivity to the will and character of God. Leaders leading with such fear leave behind a lasting legacy. There are no perfect leaders, but there are examples of better leaders who are remembered with admiration. We have the choice to become one. —Dr. A.K. Lama

As you pray, thank God for good leaders and pray for the leaders in your church, community, and country. Ask God for lasting wisdom for yourself too.

About the Author

Dr. A.K. Lama serves as Words of Hope’s Director for Ministry to South Asia. Dr. Lama is fluent in six languages, and holds a PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois. Dr. Lama is married to Dr. Asangla Ao. Together they have two daughters and one son.

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Be Still and Know