1 John 4:18 – Whoever Fears

God’s purpose in raising up Israel as a nation – as His Chosen People – was for the Jews to be a light to the world.  In this responsibility, they were to represent the Holy One of Israel so that all peoples in all nations would be drawn to Him (see Genesis 12:3, Psalm 72).  By and large, Israel failed in this task, however, Daniel was one Jew who was a wonderful example of what this blessing to the nations looked like.  Through the ability that God had given him to interpret dreams, and because of his steadfast faith in the face of adversity, Daniel demonstrated the wisdom, might, and authority of the living God.  His example, along with how God dealt with the pride of the king, brought Nebuchadnezzar into a saving relationship with him.  There were other kings that followed because of Daniel who also came to know the Living God.

Once the kingdom of the Medes and Persians succeeded Babylon, Daniel remained in a position of authority.  It was known that he represented the God of gods, had no specific loyalty to any kingdom of man, and served Yahweh only, which in turn enabled him to serve the king well, whichever nation this king represented.  Through this service, Daniel distinguished himself (Daniel 6:3), and this caused intense jealousy among his pagan peers.  As an ambassador of the King of kings, Daniel’s conduct was above reproach.  These petty men could find no fault in him with which to accuse and bring him down (Daniel 6:4).  They hated Daniel and could not countenance who he was and the favor he had with King Darius.  In the minds of these schemers, Daniel’s Achilles heel was his faith and worship of God – whom these men hated.

The Medes and Persians had a strange law.  A king who signed a decree was subject to that decree, even though he was the one who initiated it.  The high officials in the court of King Darius plotted how to trip up Daniel and remove him from power.  They hoodwinked Darius and had him sign into law a decree that no one could worship any “god” except the king.  Upon attaching his signature to this bogus legislation, Darius could not revoke it.

When Daniel heard of this, it didn’t faze him.  He would bow down to none other than Yahweh.  His believing loyalty was such that even if worshiping God meant his death, he would be faithful.  We read in Daniel 6:10:

When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.

That day was just like any other for Daniel regardless of the consequences.  He was the personification of what the apostle latter wrote in 1 John 4:18:

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Daniel was perfected in love and had no fear.  Of course, this led to his guilt before the unjust law.  When Darius realized the trap that had been set and into which he walked, Daniel 6:14 relates:

Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him.

But there was nothing he could do.  The penalty for Daniel’s transgression was death by being cast into the lions’ den.  Darius did what he must under the law but declared at that point in Daniel 6:16:

… “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”

The king had a bad night.  He hated what he’d done and agonized continually with no sleep.  Daniel 6:19-20 relates what happened next:

Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”

Think about this.  There was no way Daniel would be alive after spending the night in a den of hungry lions.  Yet, Darius knew that Daniel’s God was like no other.  With hope upon impossible hope, the king calls out to Daniel.  Was there some way that this God Daniel served had rescued him?

Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened, and Daniel 6:21-22 relates:

Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”

The king was overjoyed, but he was also enraged at the men who had put both him and Daniel through this trial.  Darius had the officials and all their families thrown into that very lions’ den Daniel had just been in as punishment for having maliciously accused this favored son of the Most High God.

But it was through this ordeal that Daniel endured which caused God’s light to shine and to turn the heart of another pagan king so that he also would serve the Lord.  Darius’ subsequent decree declared that Yahweh is “the living God” who “delivers and rescues.”  Moreover, in the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, “in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.” (Daniel 6:26-27)

Daniel had done in faith what he was supposed to do.  He brought the light of God and His blessing.  This second mightiest of all kingdoms prospered because of this.

Briefly, for comparison, let’s consider the actions of the church and those in it today.  When COVID began, it’s understandable that no one knew how serious it might be.  Fear porn was rampant with predictions of untold numbers of potential deaths.  Churches by and large bought into this narrative.  They submitted with great apprehension to the fear.  When the government and the medical establishment spoke, the church listened and obeyed.  Rather than rising up as the people of God, churches obediently closed.  It was exactly what the purveyors of the COVID scam intended.  They hate God.  Anything they could do to harm His people by keeping them from gathering was what their father the devil wanted.

Only a very few pastors had the integrity and faith to keep their churches open for whomever in their congregation desired to continue in the assembly of the saints.  Some pastors did this to their detriment because of unjust laws or executive orders that had been instituted.

The vast majority of churches did not shine God’s light in the midst of this turmoil.  They failed in their God-given duty to know the times, to declare God’s justice and mercy, and to dispel the darkness that this manufactured chaos brought.

There were only a few Daniels in all the world.  Is it any wonder that we’re at the end of the Church Age?  The Beast System is rising.  The church is shrinking back just as the Bible prophesies that it would.  Apostasy is rampant.

Will we stand in the way of Daniel against this deadly tide of hate that is causing so many to fall away?  Or will we determine in our hearts to worship God and serve Him regardless of the consequences?

2 Responses to “1 John 4:18 – Whoever Fears”

  1. Reply Jim Eastman

    Gary, I passed your blog onto a Pastor friend in India, Rajesh. He commented today that he is enjoying your writings. You are now reaching the world for Jesus Christ. Praise God!

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