Proverbs 29:25 – “The Fear of Man Brings a Snare…”

Not many people today use the term “fear of man” to describe how they interact with people in their day to day lives.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say they really “fear that man”. 

Personally, this verse has a special place in my heart.  The revelation of this verse hit me like a mac truck as I was studying what it means to fear the Lord (the exact opposite of the “fear of man”). 

The “fear of man” causes us to behave with uncertainty, considering our every move against how it will make others react. It shifts our perspective and clouds our judgment and decision making abilities.  The results of the fear of man are terrible leaving you with a hollow and unproductive life.

Our Text

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

Proverbs 29:25 KJV

What is the “Fear of Man”?

Like I said, we don’t normally hear a sentence including the words “fear of man” in the modern English we speak today, but the concept is still very prevalent. 

“Fear of Man” is simply referring to man’s opinions of how life should be lived.  

(Of course, as we know there’s man’s way and God’s way of living, so if we are listening to man’s way of living more than likely we’re contradicting God’s way of living.)

We are really saying, “I hold what my friend ______ says in higher regard than what the Word of God says.” 

The “Fear of Man” brings a “Snare”

I will tell you this.  The fear of man is a path that only ends up in a snare.  People have been hindered from receiving healing, salvation and blessing because of the fear of “what people might think of me”. 

This word for “snare” in the original Hebrew carries this meaning of a noose that you use to catch an animal by the neck. 

See? An animal isn’t thinking.  They’re just reacting to the hunger they have and lunging for the bait that’s on the other side of the trap.  

In stumbling upon this verse one day, I saw so clearly my own life in the pages. We many times care too much about what people will think, say or do. I know I’ve been guilty of adjusting how I will behave based upon who’s in the room or “what they’ll think of me”. 

Really this is a form of pride that leaves us searching for satisfaction not in God but in the opinions of others. 

So many people today talk about having anxiety or insecurity and this is the reason.  

They hold other people’s opinions in too high of a regard.  

The root cause of insecurity, anxiety and depression is a lack of the fear of the Lord. These are snares that the devil sets for us.   

The SOLUTION to the “Fear of Man”

The solution to this problem is very simple.  

(Of course, the execution of the solution is what actually takes some effort!)

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

Proverbs 29:25 KJV

The safety from people’s opinions comes from putting your trust in or “fearing” the LORD. 

Allow what Jesus and the Word of God has to say about your situation be the final say in your life. 

Trust in the Lord brings Safety

The word for “safe” in Proverbs 29:25 is the word “sagab” (Gr 7682).  It literally means, “to be (inaccessibly) high”. 

So we could read this verse as “whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be inaccessibly high.” 

Now is the Lord talking about actual height? Of course not! 

Other translations of this word include: 

  • exalted (7)
  • high (4) 
  • lifted (1) 
  • raises (1) 
  • safe (1) 
  • securely on high (1) 
  • set him securely on high (1) 
  • set me securely on high (2) 
  • set you securely on high (1) 
  • sets the securely (1) 
  • unassailable (1)

The main takeaway here is that the trust in the Lord exalts you to a position of strength that sits above any circumstance and keeps you “inaccessibly high” away from the problem.

From this position, no amount of insecurity, anxiety, hurtful words, etc. will ever harm you.  In fact, no situation could ever come against you that you don’t have the answer for in this position of strength. 

Example of what it means to be “Safe”

Ok so let’s look at this greek word for “safe” in more detail.  And to illustrate this I’m going to use a story. 

When I was about 14-15 years old, I served back in the 4s & 5s class in my church.  There were about 15 or so children in the class on average. On day two of the kids started arguing over a toy.  They went back and forth and pretty soon the teachers had to step in and setting the disagreement among the children.  

They were furious. 

It took the whole class time for the two kids to recover from having their toys taken away. 

Now think about this.  

Where were these 5 year old’s mentalities?  They were clearly underdeveloped.  The circumstances they were facing became their whole world, but to any normal teenager or adult these circumstances were barely worth mentioning! 

God wants to exalt our mentality above the circumstances that snare our mindset and keep us from victory

God wants to exalt your mentality about situations in your life so that you can clearly see them for what they are – barely worth mentioning. 

He wants to develop your character to the point where no matter what the circumstance you are stable and secure in Him.  

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

James 1:2-4 NIV

No one with a mentality caught in the snare of the problem could rise above the circumstances and see them as James is telling us to look at them.  

James is saying, “When problems come (and they will come), REJOICE because it’s an opportunity to grow your trust in the Lord.” 

Wrapping Things Up

I trust that this has shed some light on what it really means to “fear man” and also the alternative!  Insecurity, anxiety and depression are all about not trusting in the Lord as much as you trust in the people / circumstances around you.  It’s saying, “I care more about people’s opinions and what it looks like than God’s opinion of my situation.” 

Last post we talked about the answer to insecurity which is the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 14:26 says that “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence…”. It’s vital that we shift our respect and opinion seeking (Biblical “fear”) from man onto God. 

Allow Him to have the final say in how we think, speak and act in our day to day lives.

I hope as you read this it inspires you to FEAR GOD above man, and I encourage you to reach out either by the chat, comments section or by emailing [email protected].  Also if you’ve enjoyed this devo post, you can find more like this one here

Proverbs 29:25 - "The fear of man brings a snare..."