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.
2 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 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.