The Bible says: “There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]” (1 John 4:18 AMP).
Adam and Eve had not grown into love’s perfection or they would have simply confessed their sin and received forgiveness. Do you know what? I believe God would have forgiven their sin and cleansed them from all unrighteousness. But instead of admitting to God what happened and repenting, fear led them into another sin: blame.
Listen to how Adam responded when the Lord asked Adam and Even how they came to eat the forbidden fruit: “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat” (Genesis 3:12-13).
Adam and Eve lost their kingship, were expelled from the garden by the mercy of God, and failed to fulfill God’s master plan for their lives. What was that master plan? To be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:28). In other words, to use that blessing to turn the whole earth into the Garden of Eden.
Fear also led Saul to make excuses for his disobedience. When Samuel asked Saul why he had offered the sacrifice, something kings were not anointed to do, he answered: “Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering” (1 Samuel 13:11-12).
Notice Saul said he “forced himself” because Samuel didn’t show up on time. Saul had the unmitigated gall to blame Samuel for his disobedience. Why? Because Saul knew he blew it and he was scared. Fear led him into disobedience and fear caused him to shirk the responsibility to avoid punishment. But by shirking the responsibility, I believe Saul brought upon himself a greater punishment. We have to remember that God is slow to anger and abounding in mercy. He is long-suffering and kind. He doesn’t keep His anger for ever. I believe if Saul had taken a repentant attitude about his mistake, he could have held on to his kingship. Instead, fear besmirched his legacy.