1 Peter 3:14-17
But and if you suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are you: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;…
This is commonly explained as the terror which their menaces might excite; but considering the undoubted reference to Isaiah 8:12, 13, it seems probable that St. Peter means such terror as dismays those who do not fear God supremely.
Unnecessary terror: — The earthworm meets threatened danger in a most unphilosophic way. Directly it feels a slight shock in the earth it will hasten to the surface, because it attributes that to the proximity of its enemy the mole. The knowledge that the worm can easily be panic stricken has been acquired by the lapwings (Vanellus), and these birds use it for their own advantage and the destruction of their victim. The lapwings settle down on fields recently ploughed, where they can find an ample supply of worms, and striking against the ground with their feet, induce the worms to come to the surface under fear that the shock is caused by the mole. As fast as the worms come in fear to the surface they are snapped up by the lapwings. Thus by endeavouring to escape an imaginary danger, the worm encounters a real one. There are many creatures, far higher in intelligence than the poor worm, who follow exactly the same panic-stricken policy in the supposed presence of danger. All weak natures, in fact, ale naturally impelled to adopt it. Hence amongst mankind, for want of self-control and discretion, half our miseries, and often our doom, may be traced to acts caused by the dread of a danger which has existed only in our fears.
Parallel VersesKJV: But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;