Ancient wisdom: “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in YHWH is set on high.” Proverbs 29:25 (ISR98)
The original Hebrew word for “snare” is מוֹקֵשׁ môwqêsh.
It literally means a “bait, lure, snare“
So, “fear of man brings” this:
A lure is “something that is artfully crafted to arouse hope”. The worm lures the fish, and the fish hopes for a satisfying meal; but instead the fish is the meal.
Fear of man or woman arouses hope. Hope to be popular, hope to be accepted, hope to belong. The reality is that the fear itself controls its victims. The hook of fear drags you in every direction, wildly reminding you that your peace is not your own.
It’s a stark contrast to “whoever trusts in YHWH is set on high”. The Hebrew word for “trusts” is בָּטַח bâṭach and it literally represents the imagery of being within a fortified tower sound asleep while your enemy has you surrounded. You can sleep securely because you trust that you are safe, confident, and secure. It’s the image of you being sheltered from a rainstorm in a cavern like this:
So, trusting in; finding confidence in God alone results in being “set on high”.
“Set on high” in Hebrew is שָׂגַב sâgab and it literally means, “to be high, be inaccessibly high, to be (too) high (for capture).”
When you place your hope for acceptance in Christ alone; look what happens:
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, 5 made us alive with the •Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! 6 Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, 7 so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7
After Christ died in our place, look what God the Father did:
20 He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens — 21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:20-21
Christ Jesus is seated in the Heavens because he has already defeated death and sin. Our trust in Him is our declaration that through Christ Jesus, our fears are stilled. Our clamoring for acceptance is silenced.
Christ holds all dominion and authority, all power and every ruler under his feet.
Placing all your hope in Christ, fixing your gaze and your expectations on Christ Jesus alone sets your heart and soul “too high for capture”.
Your insecurities and grasping at popularity cease.
You settle into your refuge, trusting that this strong fortress is your confidence.
Jesus Christ is His name.
YHWH is his name.
Do you live confidently?
Does your life show the refuge that you trust in?
It’s never too late to ask him to free you from fear’s lure.
May your eyes be opened and your hearts encouraged, may your confidence be found in Christ alone, and may your fears be stilled by His great Love for you as you are overwhelmed by His grace.