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Prosperity Gospel

I've heard it said that there are 365 spots where the Bible says "Do not be afraid."  I'm not actually sure of the validity of this statement, but I do know that it seems to be a constantly reoccurring theme throughout.  I am often tempted to read into this command a promise of my own: that God will protect me from the things I fear.
And herein lies the temptation of the prosperity gospel, the idea that I will succeed in what I want because God is by my side.
In chapter 7 of Isaiah, we find the country of Judah in a tough spot: Assyria, with one of the most powerful militaries in the world, is headed their way and in their own backyard is the now-enemy nation of Israel.  Obviously, the people have some fear-related emotions about this.  I'd imagine it was somewhat comforting when the Lord's prophet arrived with a message that started, "Be careful, keep calm and don't be afraid' (Isa. 7:4).  I'm sure there was a sigh of relief as they prepare…

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