3 Mighty Verses from Isaiah 49! (My Opinion)

As I mentioned yesterday Isaiah 49 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. After the song about the coming Messiah, God enclosed some precious gems to encourage the Israelites and all who believe in Jesus. God wanted to assure the Israelites that He would not forget them, and He will not forget us either.

Isaiah 49:15-16 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are ever before me.
Just like a mother cannot forget her child, so God cannot forget us. He has us engraved in the palms of His hands and He is always in front of me protecting me. What a fabulous image for us as believers. We can know and be assured that God knows us, our needs and is always holding us close. This image is one I call upon for strength and assurance as who would engrave something on your hand that you did not love? The engraving is permanent and He cannot and will not get ‘rid’ of us. I love John 10:28  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” Nothing can remove us from the grasp and hold of Jesus! Praise God!

In Isaiah 49:23 God is speaking about the future and how God will restore the nation of Israel and the world will know that He is God. Look at the end of this verse in particular.

Kings will be your foster fathers,
    and their queens your nursing mothers.
They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground;
    they will lick the dust at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
    those who hope in me will not be disappointed.
As God revealed Himself further in history, we can see for sure that He alone is God, the Sovereign one. We can be assured that putting our faith and hope in Him will not leave us disappointed. This is a promise we can cling to. God does not disappoint, ever! Perhaps we can’t see the reason for things happening the way they do, but God knows and we can trust Him in all things. We know from Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,” and Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” that God is good and desires to care for us and provide for us a future filled with hope. We can know from Psalm 16:6 “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” that God has drawn His boundaries in our lives in places to fill us with hope and beauty. Be assured of this wonderful promise from God’s Word and believe that hope in Him will not disappoint!

The last verse that speaks loudly to me is Isaiah 49:25. God is affirming that He will avenge the Israelites and see them returned to Jerusalem. The last portion of this verse gives me hope for my future and that of my children.

25 But this is what the Lord says: “Yes, captives will be taken from warriors,
    and plunder retrieved from the fierce;
I will contend with those who contend with you,
    and your children I will save.
God promises to fight for us. When we are standing for Him, He will be with us, beside us and engage in the fray. I am reminded of God’s promises in Deuteronomy 32:43 “Rejoice, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies  and make atonement for his land and people.” and Hebrews 10:30-31  For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” God promises to avenge wrongs done to us and protect us. We need to trust Him and leave the timing to Him. When He says it and He will do it! God also promises to save our children- keep on praying that they will turn to Him. He is here and will save them if they will call upon Him. Romans 10:13 “for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” and Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Keep on praying!

Remember: God has you engraved on the palms of His hands. He will not forget you! He will not disappoint. He will fight for you! He will save all who call upon Him. Such precious promises!


Second Song in Isaiah about Messiah

The second song about the Messiah to come is included in Chapter 49 verses 1-13. It speaks of Messiah’s character as a servant and his purpose in coming. This chapter of Isaiah is one of my favorites as it has some special verses that speak to me personally. First let’s look at Song #2.

The Lord’s Servant Commissioned

49 Listen to me, all you in distant lands!
    Pay attention, you who are far away!
The Lord called me before my birth;
    from within the womb he called me by name.
He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword.
    He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand.
    I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver.
Here Isaiah uses symbolic language of the sword and arrows. Both the Messiah will use to show and execute judgement.

He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel,
    and you will bring me glory.”
The coming Messiah will be the perfect servant bringing glory to God where the nation of Israel had failed.

I replied, “But my work seems so useless!
    I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose.
Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand;
    I will trust God for my reward.”
Just as the nation of Israel has failed so will the Messiah seem to fail as he meets opposition during his time here on earth. The reward mentioned here refers to the reward of all believers both Jews and Gentiles who will be vindicated by Messiah’s work on the cross.

And now the Lord speaks—
    the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant,
    who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him.
The Lord has honored me,
    and my God has given me strength.
He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me.
    I will make you a light to the Gentiles,
    and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
Israel was brought back from Babylon at God’s request. The coming Messiah will restore the people to God and will open up salvation to the Gentiles. It is like the message from Jesus in John 8:12 “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” and John 9:5 “But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

The Lord, the Redeemer
    and Holy One of Israel,
says to the one who is despised and rejected by the nations,
    to the one who is the servant of rulers:
“Kings will stand at attention when you pass by.
    Princes will also bow low
because of the Lord, the faithful one,
    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
Messiah would be the despised and rejected one by the nations. 1 Peter 2:4 ” As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—” Luke 17:25 “But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.” Isaiah 53:3 “He as despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”

This is what the Lord says: “At just the right time, I will respond to you.
    On the day of salvation I will help you.
I will protect you and give you to the people
    as my covenant with them.
Through you I will reestablish the land of Israel
    and assign it to its own people again.
I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’
    and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’
They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures
    and on hills that were previously bare.
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst.
    The searing sun will not reach them anymore.
For the Lord in his mercy will lead them;
    he will lead them beside cool waters.
11 And I will make my mountains into level paths for them.
    The highways will be raised above the valleys.
12 See, my people will return from far away,
    from lands to the north and west,
    and from as far south as Egypt.”
Messiah will bring salvation, restoration, help and a renewed covenant. He will be a shepherd to the people, a light, one who brings freedom, and He will satisfy their needs. He will guide them and walking with Him will be like being beside cool waters. He will lead them with mercy and hope.

1Sing for joy, O heavens!
    Rejoice, O earth!
    Burst into song, O mountains!
For the Lord has comforted his people
    and will have compassion on them in their suffering.
With the Messiah there will be rejoicing in heaven, and He will bring great comfort and compassion for the people in their suffering.

The language of the song is very poetic in nature but much could be confirmed about the coming Messiah and then was affirmed by Messiah’s life and mission.

Jesus executed judgement on sin and yet brought healing and forgiveness to sinners. Jesus was rejected and despised and yet would provided the light of life for both Jews and Gentiles. Jesus brought healing, guidance, hope and renewal to all who would listen and follow him. Jesus brought compassion on all who came to him and treated them with mercy. What a beautiful song of praise and hope to all who awaited Him. What a glorious reminder of who Jesus is and what he accomplished for us. Christ is the Holy one, the Only one, who can Save us.


Only God Could Do This!

Do you believe that God has power over nations and governments? Isaiah 44:24-28 gives us proof that God knows who governs by name and can use powers on earth to affect His people for good. These prophesies were given hundreds of years before they occurred in history. When Isaiah wrote them during the reign of Hezekiah and the captivity of the Israelites by Babylon was in the distant future.

Isaiah 44:24-28 This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer and Creator:
“I am the Lord, who made all things.
    I alone stretched out the heavens.
Who was with me
    when I made the earth?
God is the Creator.
25 I expose the false prophets as liars
    and make fools of fortune-tellers.
I cause the wise to give bad advice,
    thus proving them to be fools.
God exposes false prophets.
26 But I carry out the predictions of my prophets!
    By them I say to Jerusalem, ‘People will live here again,’
and to the towns of Judah, ‘You will be rebuilt;
    I will restore all your ruins!’
The prophesies of God’s prophets are always true.
27 When I speak to the rivers and say, ‘Dry up!’
    they will be dry.
28 When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’
God will use Cyrus, the future leader of Persia.
    he will certainly do as I say.
He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’;
    he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’”.
God will cause Cyrus to order the people returned and the temple rebuilt!

Amazing! God was going to use a pagan king, an unbeliever, to restore the Jews to their homeland of Canaan and then have the temple rebuilt. This story is given in Ezra 1:2-4, “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Any of you who are his people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild this Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives in Jerusalem. And may your God be with you! Wherever this Jewish remnant is found, let their neighbors contribute toward their expenses by giving them silver and gold, supplies for the journey, and livestock, as well as a voluntary offering for the Temple of God in Jerusalem.”

A short while later King Cyrus added to this decree of letting the people return to rebuild, Ezra 6:3-5, “In the first year of King Cyrus’s reign, a decree was sent out concerning the Temple of God at Jerusalem. “Let the Temple be rebuilt on the site where Jews used to offer their sacrifices, using the original foundations. Its height will be ninety feet, and its width will be ninety feet. Every three layers of specially prepared stones will be topped by a layer of timber. All expenses will be paid by the royal treasury. Furthermore, the gold and silver cups, which were taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar from the Temple of God in Jerusalem, must be returned to Jerusalem and put back where they belong. Let them be taken back to the Temple of God.”

Not only did God provide for the people’s to return to their homeland, but He had neighbors contributing to their expenses. God had all the treasured articles taken from the temple by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon returned with them!

I love this amazing story of God’s provision in the face of total opposition. The Jews were held in captivity for 70 years and then God arranged for their release, money to travel and settle back home and for His temple to be rebuilt. Only God could foretell of this event and then carry it out exactly.

May the power of our God motivate you to cling to Him and His promises today. What He says He will do! God keeps His promises.


God is the ONE and ONLY!

How often do you need to be reminded that God is God and that there is no other! The people of Israel were reminded of this truth repeatedly by the prophets God sent. Isaiah is taking up this task in Isaiah 44:6-8 after he has just given them a word of hope and love from God in Isaiah 44:1-3.

“This is what the Lord says—
    Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
    apart from me there is no God.
Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
    Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
    and what is yet to come—
    yes, let them foretell what will come.
Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
    Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
    No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

Truths you can know for certain from these verses:

  1. God Alone is God. There is no other and He is Sovereign., verse 6.
  2. God was there at the beginning and will be there at the end, verse 6.
  3. He is Omniscient. He knows all: past, present and future, verse 7.
  4. God is a rock- solid, stable, the foundation of my life, verse 8.
  5. God is unique. there is no other like Him, verse 8.

What problems are you having today that cannot be known, addressed, solved, or helped by Omniscient, Sovereign God? NONE. What doubts do you have that cannot be solved if committed to God Almighty? NONE David attested to his in Psalm 86:8 “Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.” The prayer in Jude 24-25 sums it up, “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” To whom else can we pray? God is God and there is no other like Him!

May these truths about our loving, merciful and all-knowing God bring you comfort and courage as you face today!


Oops! God’s Word as my Shield

Chapter 44 of Isaiah begins with another powerful No Fear passage. God is sending the Israelites more encouragement to help them face those long years that were coming during their exile in Babylon. The words of encouragement are just as real and profound for us today! Ancient words with help and love written all over them from our God. Isaiah 44:1-3

“But now listen, Jacob, my servant,
    Israel, whom I have chosen.

This is what the Lord says—
    he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
    and who will help you:

Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
    Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
    and my blessing on your descendants.

Here are truths and promises I can claim as a believer in Jesus from this passage:

  1. I am chosen by God and special to Him verse 1. 1 Thessalonians 1:4 “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you
  2. God created me and knew me before I was even born verse 2. Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
  3. God promises to help me during my life verse 2. Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helpme. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
  4. God says I can live without fear because He chose me, blesses and helps me verse 2. Romans 8:15 “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 3:26 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,”
  5. God promises to pour out His Spirit upon me and bless me verse 3. John 16:3 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
  6. As a child of God, my descendants and I will receive blessings verse 3. Deuteronomy 30:19 “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

God meant for us to find and claim these verses as God had placed them repeatedly throughout scripture. Which of these will you claim in your life today? Are you in need of feeling special to God? See verse 1. Are you doubting that God created you for a purpose in a special way? See verse 2. Are you doubting God will help you in your current circumstances? See verse 2. Are you living in fear because of your current situation or pressures in your life? See verse 2. Do you need an outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon you today? See verse 3. Are you concerned about your children and grandchildren? See verse 3.

God’s Word is complete and has answers and hope for all of life’s situation! Praise God 2 Samuel22:31 speaks of the flawlessness of God’s Word and how it can be our shield for living. “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” David gives the same idea in Psalm 18:30,“As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” Solomon also says in Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Why not claim God’s promises over you life today and use His word as your shield for living?


Keys to Repentance, 5th Sunday of Lent

This 5th Sunday of Lent I want to draw your attention to 2 verses in Isaiah 43. Why Lent? Why have an attitude of repentance and gratitude? Look at these 2 verses:

Isaiah 43:7 “Bring all who claim me as their God,
    for I have made them for my glory.
    It was I who created them.’”

God calls each of us unto Himself. He has made us and created us for a purpose for His glory and our good! I love Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Isaiah 43:25 ““I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake
    and will never think of them again.

God has the ability and the desire to forgive our sins. When God forgives, the sins are gone to be remembered no more! What is required of us is that attitude of repentance. I am reminded of 1 John 1:9 “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

Both of these verses from Isaiah speak to the heart of the Lenten Season. Check your attitude today. Are you thankful for how God has made you and are you looking for His purpose in your life? Do you feel sins burden or are you free in Jesus? I pray as you worship today that you would sense a new purpose and freedom knowing and trusting God. He is good and loves and cares for you.


Promises to Claim from A Personal God

In writing my book Fearless Living, today’s passage is one of my favorites. God tells us so much about himself and how He desires to relate to each of us as believers. We are His chosen people by faith and His promises are ones we can readily claim. Isaiah 43:1-5

But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you
I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
    I will bring your children from the east
    and gather you from the west.

These promises were given to encourage the people of Israel while they were being held captives in Babylon. God promised to be with them in all circumstances and to bring them home. He did that when King Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem. The timing was exactly as God had said and 70 years after being taken they were allowed to return. The king also gave them the articles taken from the temple and money for repairs!

However, if we look at this passage from this side of the cross, the promises are just as true for us as God’s children. First, God speaks of creating each of us- who we are, where we live and with purpose. in verse 1. God adds that He has redeemed us and calls us by name. How precious is that? The God of the Universe knows me by name and desires for me to be redeemed, bought back from the penalty of sin. In verse 2, God names various circumstances that would be totally challenging- water, flood, fire, and He promises to be with us. I am reminded of Deuteronomy 31:6 where He makes a similar promise, one I can cling to, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” God reminds us that He is God, the Holy One and our Savior in verse 3. I love the proclamation in verse 4 that I am precious in His sight and honored by Him. What a privilege to be called precious by God! The reason God feels this way is because of His love for me. John 3:16 says it this way, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God is motivated in all He does towards me by His love as He states in verse 4. Lastly, God reminds us to not be afraid. Fear does not come from God. He plans to see me thought all things and bring me home to be with Him.

Which of these promises do you cherish in your life? Do you need assurance today that God is with you always? Do you know for sure that you are redeemed through you faith in Christ? Do you feel God’s love and care right now? If you are struggling, reread this passage and meditate on the promises given by God. What God says He will do, He will do! Trust Him as He is faithful in all things. Remember Lamentations 3:22-23 and claim it in your life! “The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness;  his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Resolve to begin each day walking in His mercies which is possible because of His faithfulness.


Servant Song #1 Thanks Be to God for Sending Jesus!

As we begin Chapter 42 of Isaiah we find one of 4 ‘Servant Songs’ within the book of Isaiah that speaks specifically of the Messiah to come. This first servant song is Isaiah 42:1-9

“Look at my servant, whom I strengthen.
    He is my chosen one, who pleases me.
I have put my Spirit upon him.
    He will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout
    or raise his voice in public.
He will not crush the weakest reed
    or put out a flickering candle.
    He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.
He will not falter or lose heart
    until justice prevails throughout the earth.
    Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction.”
Jesus was chosen by God to come and fulfill His plan of redemption for all mankind. He was filled with God’s Holy Spirit and walked justly and humbly during his time on earth spending his time healing, teaching, and reasoning. He ignites the light of life within us as he said in John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

God, the Lord, created the heavens and stretched them out.
    He created the earth and everything in it.
He gives breath to everyone,
    life to everyone who walks the earth.
And it is he who says,
“I, the Lord, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness.
    I will take you by the hand and guard you,
and I will give you to my people, Israel,
    as a symbol of my covenant with them.
And you will be a light to guide the nations.
    You will open the eyes of the blind.
You will free the captives from prison,
    releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.
Creator God had a purpose for having Jesus walk the earth. Jesus demonstrated God’s love and righteousness. He renewed the covenant with Israel and all believers as He is a guide and savior to all nations. Luke 20:22 “After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.” He opened the eyes of the blind literally and spiritually. He freed those bound by the chains of sin and set us free. Luke 4:18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free,”

“I am the Lord; that is my name!
    I will not give my glory to anyone else,
    nor share my praise with carved idols.
Everything I prophesied has come true,
    and now I will prophesy again.
I will tell you the future before it happens.”
God reaffirms that He is Sovereign and will not share His Glory with anyone. All his prophesies and promises are true and will be fulfilled!

This beautiful song from Isaiah confirms for us that Jesus, the Messiah, did indeed fulfill all that the Father had said about Him. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, was humble and unassuming, reestablished the covenant in a new way between God and man through his sacrifice on the cross, brought light and righteousness to all mankind and made a way for us to be free from the bondage of sin. Praise God for our magnificent Savior! Christ is the Holy one, the Only one, who can Save us.


“I’m going to hold your hand”- God

I love this next portion of Isaiah 41. God shows his love and compassion for His people Israel. He is their heavenly Father and treats them as His precious and special children. God knows they will be in captivity for 70 years and wants to encourage them during that time. Look at the “I”‘s in this passage. Whatever God says He will do, HE WILL DO! God keeps His promises.

Isaiah 41:13-14 “For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.
14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
    little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

These promises by God were to encourage the Israelites but they are meant for all God’s children. He loves and cares for each of us as His own. Romans 8:14 “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” Galatians 3:26 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,” Through our faith in Jesus, we are children of God. We are precious to Him. Psalm 147:11 “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Be encourage by the love your heavenly Father has for you and how much He cherishes you. When He says, “I Will”, He means it as a promise to each of us.

There are important truths about God and lessons we can apply to our lives from just these 2 verses.

*God promises to personally lead, guide, comfort and help those who believe and trust in Him.

*By holding our hand, God shows He cares for each of us.

*God promises to help us. He knows our circumstances and how to resolve all our problems.

*Since God will attend to us personally, we can know that we mean something to Him and have value in His eyes. We,

each one of us, are loved by the God of the universe!

*God reminds us that He is Holy, His character is pure and blameless, and He is our redeemer.

Be encouraged today by God’s special love for you.


Jesus is Upholding You, Be Encouraged!

In Chapter 41 of Isaiah we find encouraging passages that would have strengthened and given hope to the Israelites while in captivity in Babylon and that speak to us today with that same strength and hope.

Isaiah 41:9-10 “I took you from the ends of the earth,
    from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

The Israelites could identify with these words as they knew God had called them while in Egypt and would call them to return to Jerusalem when their captivity in Babylon was finished. They knew that God would keep the promises He made to their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God was giving them hope that He would strengthen, help and uphold them.

As we look at these verses thousands of years later, what do they mean to us today? We know God kept His promise to return them to the land of Israel after their captivity in Babylon. He also returned them to their land as a nation in 1948 when the Jews returned to establish and the independent country of Israel. We can also take comfort in God’s promise to be with us, strengthen and help us. When God says he will uphold us with His righteous right hand, God is referring to Jesus. Jesus is known as the one who sits at God’s right hand. We can count on Him to uphold us 24/7. Here are some lessons and truths we can glean from these verses that will give us courage, strength and resolve for living:

** God is sovereign and we are chosen by God to serve Him. God is in control of all things in heaven and on the earth. All believers are chosen by God to serve Him. He delights in having a relationship with us. Acts 4:24 “When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.” Psalm 147:11 “the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”

**God’s presence dispels fear. (God is greater than any fear we might have!) Psalm 34:4 “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”

**Knowing He is my God frees me from discouragement. Nothing or no one can withstand the power of God. Romans 8:31b says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” or Isaiah 49:23b “Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”

**God promises to provide strength and help. This promise is found elsewhere too. Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Isaiah 40:29 ” He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Psalm 33:20 “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.” Isaiah 50:9 “It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me. Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.”

**God promises to uphold me through Jesus, who is His righteous right hand. Mark 16:19 “After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.” Acts 5:30-31 “The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.” Ephesians 1:19-20  and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. He told us he would be with us and uphold us until He returns. John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:16-17 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

May you be encouraged today by our promise keeping God!