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Fear No Other Gods

by | Jul 23, 2023 | Fear, Money, Power

“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last; besides Me there is no god. Who is like Me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before Me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen. Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are My witnesses! Is there a God besides Me? There is no Rock; I know not any.’” (Isaiah 44:6-8 ESV)

There’s an odd phrase in the middle of this passage. God spends several minutes saying again and again, in every way possible, “I am the only God there is. There is nobody else. I know it and you know it and I know that you know it.” And then, right in the middle, He says this: “Fear not, nor be afraid.”

Afraid of what? Well, afraid of other gods, I guess. That’s the only thing He’s been talking about in this whole passage. We don’t need to be afraid of them, because they don’t exist. The Lord is the true God, the only God, and He’s all we need to think about.

So far it sounds a bit old-fashioned. After all, how many of us lie awake actively worrying that Zeus or Poseidon exist, or Baal and Astarte? We don’t need to be told not to worry about them!

But in fact we have other false gods among us, don’t we? They go by the names of Money and Power and Prestige. They include Alliances and Technology and Military Power. So many people—even us!—put our hope in these things to keep us safe—to give us the good things we need in our lives, to protect our children; and we fear these things when they are on the side of our adversaries. And to us, too, God says, “Fear not.”

Because what God said applies to modern false gods as well. Next to Him, they have no reality, no power, no existence. Nothing can stand against the God who loves us so much He came into this world to be one of us, to live and to die on the cross to save us—and to rise again, so that we might live forever. Next to Him, no powers even register. As Paul said, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:31-32, 35, 37-39 ESV).

We Pray: Lord, keep my eyes and trust on You, and let me not fear anything else. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on July 18, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights

Reflection Questions:
1. What powers are you most likely to fear in your life?
2. How do you find help in Jesus when you are afraid?
3. Tell about a time, great or small, when you saw the true God triumph over one of these scary false gods in your life.