Have you ever noticed how much God repeats himself? He seems to say the same things over and over again all throughout the Scriptures. For example, the command, "Do not be afraid" occurs over 300 times in the Bible. Why? You know, we usually shut down when someone keeps repeating himself. Inside we're saying to ourselves, "Ok, we've heard that before!" Or like one of my good friends often says, "Retell!" So why would God repeat himself so much? And why specifically does he keep telling us, "Do not be afraid."
In ancient cultures, the emphasis was on oral tradition. People told stories and passed them on from one generation to another. In this way the stories were preserved. Thus, repetition in these cultures was viewed much differently. In fact, the things you repeated were the things that really mattered. If you wanted to remember something, it deserved to be repeated. So the more it was repeated, the more important it was.
Therefore, when God repeats himself, we should take heed to what he is saying. He wants us to listen. So think about it. If God tells us, "Do not be afraid" over 300 times in Scripture he means it. He wants us to know that He genuinely is with us and cares for us. Every day we are prone to worry and God is patient with us continually repeating himself. "You don't have to be afraid. I am with you. I know what to do. I'm in control." Those are comforting words. Words that bear repeating because we are slow to learn. Words that bear repeating because we are slow to learn. Okay, you get the idea!
*Ed Welch's book, Running Scared, again provided me with this insight ...