Strong's Concordance defines confidence as "properly, a refuge, i.e. (objective) security, or (subjective) assurance." And refuge means "to flee for protection; figuratively, to confide in." When we fear the Lord, He is our confidence, our refuge, our place to flee from in the storms of life - whether they be caused from trials or from enemies that desire to do us harm.
In Isaiah chapter 8, we see God's rebuke of the nations around Israel that were seeking to injure them. God doesn't take it lightly when the children of the devil seek to mess with God's children! Though I am unsure of the exact date of this prophecy, I believe it is sometime near the time that the Northern Kingdom (ie. the ten Northern tribes) were carried away into captivity by Assyria, which took place in 722 B.C.
Isaiah was ministering to the kings of Judah (the kings of the Southern Kingdom), and this chapter contains some exhortations to Isaiah (and to us) to keep his eyes on the Lord, and not put them on his enemies. They could threaten God's people all they wanted to, but God was still in control! Nothing could happen to those who have trusted in the Lord for salvation - except for what God sovereignly allowed into their lives. This was certainly a good lesson for Isaiah and Judah (as well as for us).
Isaiah 8:9-10 Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.
Go ahead, you heathen nations, and threaten My people all you want; judgment is coming to you instead. You can gather together all you want, but you will be broken in pieces and your plans and threats will come to nothing. God is standing with His people! If you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation, He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you - regardless of what threats the lost world tries to give to intimidate you, only the Lord's plans will come to pass.
Isaiah 8:11-12 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.
Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines confederacy as "A league, or covenant; ...a combination of two or more persons to commit an unlawful act."
The Word of God says we are not to fear the confederacies of men, we are not to fear what other men fear, we are not to be afraid of whatever threats they may utter towards us - your Heavenly Father is still in complete control!
Isaiah 8:13-15 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
Don't fear men or their threats towards you - fear God alone - and when we do, He promises to be our sanctuary in this fallen world. To me, that is a promise that is so precious!
Webster's defines sanctuary as "A place of protection; a sacred asylum... Shelter; protection."
Isaiah 33:6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.
In God's timing, our (and His) enemies will stumble and fall, unless they repent and turn to Him for salvation. We need not fear their schemes and evil workings - just keep our eyes steadfast upon the Lord our God, fear Him, and He Himself will be protecting and watching over us.
2 Kings 17:36, 39 But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice... But the LORD your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.
It is interesting to note that part of this passage in Isaiah is quoted in the New Testament as an exhortation to us today:
1 Peter 3:13-15 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
When we walk in the fear of the Lord - rather than in the fear of man - and we conduct ourselves in a manner that is pleasing and honouring to the Lord, we receive the commendation of our Heavenly Father, and are given opportunities to be witnesses of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
Isaiah 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
Psalm 115:11 Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.