The wicked flee though no one pursues
but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
The picture of the wicked1 drew me to this proverb; a guy running away even though nobody pursues. Fear of what? Nothing. Nobody’s chasing you. It is this fear that pervades our society (in different ways) and Christians are not exempt. Thus this proverb for me is an encouragement to interrogate my fears as there will be some aspects of that fear that are right and some where I’m running away from nothing.
In light of that fear, confidence or bold-ness sets that fear in sharp relief.2 This is not presumption or arrogance, but trust and assurance. For those whose trust in Jesus, there is NOW no condemnation. That must issue out into our lives. How we move from fear of nothing to confident trust is a work of the Spirit, making us more like Christ. Jesus didn’t run away from nothing, but with boldness set his face towards Jerusalem, towards the cross.
This work of the one Spirit, in all who trust in Jesus, will be highly individual – slower for some, quicker for others, more full-er for others. There is no recipe for us to follow except, as Psalm 1 says, a constant murmuring on God’s Word amongst his people.
- I see ‘wicked’ as all sinful humanity, and still residing in Christians and warring against our new nature until Jesus returns. ↩
- Not only does fear of nothing pervade our culture, but so to does the boldness of the righteous. While this can often lead to arrogance, Western culture benefits from the boldness that comes from the good news. ↩