The Origin of Fear

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Where Did Fear Begin?

Fear is as old as the beginning of the human race. By reason of sin, through the Fall, the fruit of fear sprang to life. Only after the Fall though, do we see fear in effect. The very two first human beings created, Adam and Eve, actually had the luxury of living without fear. All of that changed though and still thousands of years later, we as humans have a tendency to be fearful. 

The Bible does not say that Adam and Eve worried, feared or felt any anxiety when living in the Garden of Eden. On the contrary! They lived in fellowship with the Father and were cared for spiritually, emotionally, physically and relationally. They had everything they needed. Fear was not a part of the picture. 

Fear entered after the Fall. 

The Fall from innocence. The Fall from perfect fellowship. The Fall from perfect peace. 

With sin came corruption and fear.

(Now to be clear, when I talk about fear, I’m not talking about a fear response, i.e. fight or flight. Although that is a part of it. The fear response happens in order to help protect us from danger, alert us when something is wrong and give us the strength to fight back or flee the situation. This response is a good thing. The type of fear I’m addressing in these posts though is an awful dread, a constant anxiety, and a never-ending worry. The type of fear I’m talking about goes deeper than a fight or flight response. The type of fear I’m referring to is a fear that makes us afraid continually.

Merriman-Webster’s definition puts it like this: afraid-filled with fear or apprehension.)

Adam and Eve immediately felt fear after the Fall.

“I was afraid… so I hid.” Genesis 3:10

God knows our propensity to be afraid too. He knows it so well that throughout Bible he continually tells His people to “not be afraid.” 

Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you. Deuteronomy 3:22

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Mark 4:40

Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Mark 5:36

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

Dealing with Fear

I was a fearful child from the start. Fear of being separated from my mother, fear of school, fear of something bad happening. It got to the point where my parents grew concerned. I was put in counseling at 8 years old. Fear gripped my heart for years on end. Like Adam, I hid. I hid myself from God and from others. I even tried to fix things through my own strength. It’s safe to say that I tried to sew my own fig leaves (see Genesis 3:7) together to fix the problem hoping that by wearing them, no one else would see the real me. Though in hindsight I can now see that I didn’t even know who the real me was… I just knew fear.

God gives a Promise

God is gracious though. He is kind and full of compassion! Even in the midst of Adam and Eve’s sin, God has a plan to rescue them and His children after them from the effects of the Fall. Adam and Eve were given a Promise. That Promise is for all of us today. It was this Promise that gave me freedom from fear. 

Fear was not part of the original design God had in mind. Fear came through sin and sin affects every human being. You and I are affected by fear. But God is willing to reverse this. He is ready to walk with us, comfort us and give us freedom from debilitating fear. 

It takes time, renewal and a whole lot of grace, but God has provided these very things for each and every one of us. 

Take heart dear friend! God does not want you to live in a perpetual state of worry. He is ready and willing to free you from the bondage of fear. The Promise I speak of was manifested in the Person of Jesus Christ and He too is our Hope. 

I leave you today with this Scripture:

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

I look forward to continuing this series with you all next week.

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