Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.
Fear is one of life’s worst experiences. A dreaded event may be imagined, or it may be real, but both are very painful. Terrifying news or reports of danger can suddenly cause great alarm and fear. Or you may know God is going to severely judge the wicked around you. But in both cases, wise men will be happy and peaceful, because God will be their confidence in danger, and He will deliver them from judgment of the wicked (Pr 3:26).
The larger context describes the many benefits of wisdom (Pr 3:1-22). The smaller context teaches that peace from fear and safety from danger are some of these benefits (Pr 3:23-24). The proverb above declares wisdom’s value to deliver men from surprise events and trouble and from God’s judgment of sinners. Because wisdom includes the fear of God and obedience to Him, He will save such men and women from both dangers.
Praise the true and living God! A Christian should not fear anything, for his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord (Ps 112:7-8). Even if an army were to come against him, he can be confident, because the high King of Heaven is on his side (Ps 27:1-6). Even if the surface of the earth were violently overthrown, there is no cause for fear at all (Ps 46:1-7). Here is a glorious benefit of wisdom – faith in God will save you from all fears (Ps 34:1-7).
Consider sudden fear. A doctor says you have cancer! Your spouse of many years leaves you! You are fired unexpectedly! You are in the middle of a bank during a robbery! Your son is killed in an accident! Your auto quits, and you have no money for repairs! A powerful nation declares war against yours! Your retirement plan is cancelled entirely!
Those who fear God and love wisdom have complete confidence in the face of fear. Naaman contracted incurable leprosy, but he boldly sought Elisha for its full cure. Hezekiah had a fatal disease, but he prayed for a couple minutes and was given 15 more years. Jesus Christ went to the cruel death of the cross with total confidence in His Father. Paul and Silas could sing praises in a Roman dungeon in Philippi, Macedonia.
Consider the desolation of the wicked. The influenza epidemic of 1918 killed 40 million! World War II took 72 million more! Deranged moon worshippers destroyed the World Trade Center! A 2004 tsunami wiped out the lives and homes of many from ten nations!
Those who fear God and love wisdom are kept from God’s judgment of the wicked. God drowned all men by a worldwide flood 4500 years ago, but Noah and his family were dry in the Ark. He took Lot out of Sodom before burning it up. Jacob and his family were fed in the best part of Egypt during a terrible famine. Many saints were saved out of Jerusalem, when God sent the Roman armies to destroy the murderers of His Son.
What is wisdom? It is reverently fearing the LORD Jehovah of the Bible and keeping His commandments. God befriends, blesses, delivers, and helps such men, so they need not fear in this world or the next. They can respond confidently to any news of trouble, for they will be protected. If the God of heaven is on your side, then there is nothing man or natural disasters can do to you (Pr 3:26; Ps 118:6; Matt 10:28-31; Heb 13:5-6).
The worst fear the world has ever seen and the worst desolation of the wicked are yet to come, and they are not far off (II Thes 1:7-9). Jesus Christ will come from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire to take vengeance on them that do not know God and do not obey the gospel. But those who believe in Him will be glorified and will admire Him at the very same event (II Thes 1:10). Believe and obey the Lord Jesus Christ today.