I’m going to admit something to you. I’m sort of cheating. See, I am doing a workshop on fear for a youth conference, and it is taking up much of my time and attention as I study and prepare for it. So, to be honest, fear is kind of on my mind, and so, I’m dragging you along for the ride. I hope you don’t mind! 🙂

Fear Not Blog Graphic

Four hundred years ago, a guy named Michael de Montaigne said, “My life has been filled with terrible misfortune; most of which never happened.”

Fear is something that keeps us from doing so many things. It steals the joy from our days, prevents sleep, costs us peace of mind and even money. But according to a recent study, 85% of the things we worry will happen never do, and with the 15 percent that do happen, 79% of the test subjects said they handled it better than they thought or that the event taught them a valuable lesson that was worth it. So, that basically means that about 97% of the stuff you worry about is a huge, colossal waste of time!

As I was studying to get ready for this workshop, I was sort of stumped as to which way to go because honestly, there are SO many examples of fearful people in the Bible, it was hard to pick someone to focus on. While I dearly love the whole Bible, and the truths found in the New Testament make up the foundation of my faith and theology, I have to admit, that I really love the Old Testament. I guess it’s probably because, at heart, I am a storyteller and I can’t resist a good story. And the Old Testament is filled with some of the most interesting (and bizarre) characters around – many of whom struggled in some way or another with fear.

I thought today, we’d take a little tour of some well-known people in the pages of the Bible, our own little Fear Hall of Fame, if you will. Some of these folks might surprise you because they are better known for their moments of faith. In fact, several of them are also listed in the Hebrews 11 passage which is often called the Faith Hall of Fame. Which just goes to show you, just because you are fearful in this moment, that doesn’t mean that you can’t walk in faith in the future. Today, though, let’s take a peek at the Fear Hall of Fame and see what we can learn about the lies fear tells us.


The very first story in the Bible is about Adam and Eve. You might be wondering what they have to do with fear, but Eve’s whole eating-the-fruit-she-shouldn’t-have debacle is rooted in the fear that God is not really good. (I wrote more about Eve in my Women of the Bible series) She took that orange or apple or mango after Satan tempted her, but he was just watering the insecurities and fears that were already seeds in her heart. She was afraid that God was holding out on her. She had this entire, perfect garden, but there was one thing God wasn’t giving her. And she was afraid He was holding back something that was good. She couldn’t understand in her human, finite mind why the tree was off limits, and so in her fear, she assumed it meant God was keeping back something that was good.  Fear tells us that God isn’t really for us. 



Abraham is probably most well-known for the fact that he took off for points unknown just because God asked him to. He’s also well-known for being willing to sacrifice his son, also because God asked him to. What isn’t as well-known is that along the way, he ran into a few kings who thought his wife was super hot. So, in fear, Abraham asked Sarah to pretend to be his sister. Yeah – not cool. He believed God enough to follow Him into the unknown. He believed God enough to be willing to sacrifice the son he had waited for forever. But keeping a few kings from killing him over his very gorgeous wife. Nope. Apparently, that was too big for God. Fear makes us forget how God came through for us in the past.



God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child. But when menopause came and went, and there was still no child, Sarah decided she needed to do something to make that happen. God had said a child of Abraham’s body (and implied it would be Sarah’s child, too), so Sarah rationalized her way into giving her maid Hagar to Abraham in the first case of surrogacy on record. This decision caused a heap of trouble that has rippled through history. The Jewish people and the Arab people are still fighting it out. Fear tells us the natural order of things is bigger than God’s promises. 




All his life, Jacob’s mom had told him he was going to get the blessing, that he would be treated like the first born, but when things got down to the wire, Jacob felt like he had to step in and sort things out. He feared that God wouldn’t follow through on His promise (or maybe he feared his mother was delusional after childbirth). In any case, by stepping in, Jacob ended up on the run from his family for years, and he never saw his mom again. Fear tells us that time will run out before God comes through for us. 




God appeared to Moses in a burning bush (which incidentally didn’t freak him out), but when God asked Moses to go back and talk to Pharaoh, Moses came up with just about every excuse in the book as to why he wasn’t the man for the job – from fearing he wouldn’t know what to say to fearing he wouldn’t be believed to fearing his speech impediment would keep the message from being effective, God finally had to get angry to get Moses moving. A funny little story from this encounter. When Moses asked how the people would believe he was sent from God, God gave him a few signs he could perform. One of them was throwing his staff down and it would become a snake. When this actually happened, it says that Moses fled. Apparently, he was afraid of snakes, too. Fear tells us God has called us to something He failed to equip us for. 



Saul looked like a king. The Bible said he was head and shoulders above all the men. But despite his kingly appearance, Saul was kind of a scaredy-cat on the inside. In fact, when it came time to crown him as king, they found him hiding in a shed. The man had some serious insecurities. The secret to those fears can be found in I Samuel 9:21. When Samuel finds Saul and tells him that he wants to eat a meal with him, Saul replies, “Saul replied, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the  tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me in this way?” Fear tells us we are not enough. 


These are only a fraction of the people fear sidelined or took out all together that litter the pages of the Bible. I hope you’ll join me as we look more closely at fear, what it is, and how we can overcome it.

So, what are you most afraid of? I’d love to hear about it!

Blessings, Rosanne


3 Comments on Part 1: The Fear Hall of Fame

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