Fear God, Not Man
And he could not answer Abner another word,
because he feared him. - 2 Samuel 3:11
While Abner was bold in his rebellion, Ishbosheth was a weak man. He was on the throne, but notice who was in charge—who had all the power. Abner was the power behind the throne of Israel, and Ishbosheth was just a figurehead. That was the reason Abner raised him up. He knew he could control him.
Ishbosheth was not led by the Lord. God did not put him on the throne, man did, and that is the reason he feared Abner more than he feared God. He knew the only reason he was on the throne was because of Abner, and he could just as easily take him down. Abner had no great love or respect for Ishbosheth, so he could not be fully trusted.
Think about it. Israel was no longer being led by the Lord. The people were being led by a man who rebelled against the Lord. The people could have turned to David. Ishboseth could have said “no” to Abner, but he went right along with the rebellion against God. I think that is why he feared Abner. He had followed a man who was not following the will of the Lord. He was following his own selfish desires.
I think we need to be careful. We should not fear people but fear God instead. Men can only touch our physical lives, but God can touch us eternally. We should be seeking the will of God for our lives, not the will of men. If we are in the will of God, we will have no reason to fear man, because God will be in control of our lives.
No passion so effectively robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.
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