Learning from the Logic of Fear

Learning from the Logic of Fear

God says to Ezekiel, “Fear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 3:9).

The logic strikes me, at first, as odd. Don’t be afraid of the people of Israel. Why? Because they are a rebellious house.

Why would their rebelliousness reduce my fear of them?

Because the condemnation on their faces will not stick. They hold you in derision, but they are wrong and you are mine.

In other words, God is not addressing the question whether the rebels can kill Ezekiel. The logic is not: Don’t be afraid of them because they can’t kill you. They can.

Rather the logic is: Don’t be afraid of them, because they are the rebellious ones not you. The fear God is removing is the fear that we are as guilty and as foolish as the faces of our opponents say we are.

No, Ezekiel. You are not the rebellious one. You are not the guilty one. You are not the one I am bringing wrath upon. You should not be ashamed, or intimidated.

They are the rebellious house. They are the guilty ones. They are the ones who have turned away from my covenant. They will endure my wrath.

Do not fear. Don’t internalize their faces. They will soon be covered with shame.


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John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.