25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
26 Many seek an audience with a ruler,
but it is from the Lord that one gets justice.
27 The righteous detest the dishonest;
the wicked detest the upright.
While “the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,” the fear of man is a snare. One leads to courage, the other to cowardice. When the opinions of others are more important to us then the Lord’s direction, we often find ourselves trapped. Whether it’s in a sinful behavior, an inability to confront evil, a bad relationship or the restlessness of anxiety – it all begins with misplaced fear. The one who fears trusting in the Lord may not help, will surely get no help from doubting him. What would you do differently if you were not afraid?
“Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that one gets justice.” It is natural to call on the Lord as a last resort, after we’ve tried everything else. But he wants to be our first resort, we need not be tempted to despair. Why seek an audience with a ruler, who may not be able to help you, when you can appeal to the Lord of lords at any time? Only he knows exactly who deserves what, only he can fully satisfy.
“The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright.” Behavior may follow feelings, but the reverse is also true. The further one journeys down a path, the more committed he becomes to it. The righteous have two claims against the dishonest: they harm themselves as well as society. But the wicked only have one claim against the upright: they are intolerant. No matter which side you choose, someone will oppose you. The question is this: would you rather be destructive or accused of intolerance?