March 24, 2017
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Our featured Scripture is Isaiah 43:1 through 3:
But now, thus says the LORD, who created you…and He who formed
you…“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your
name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with
you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you
walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame
scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel,
As said in the last blog, God shows us two major situations in which we are Just Passing Through. We looked at the first: “When you pass through the waters…and through the rivers….”
• Twice the Israelites experienced passing through the waters! And both times, by the miraculous power of the ever-present God, the waters did not overflow them!
✡ When the LORD delivered His people out of slavery in Egypt, He led them into what seemed to be an impossible situation! The mountains were surrounding them, the Red Sea was in front of them, and the Egyptian army was closing in behind! But you know what happened, even if they, at the time, did not! As described in Exodus 14:21, 22 and 15:19:
…the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind…and
made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the
children of Israel went into midst of the sea on the dry ground, and
the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
…Pharaoh went with his chariots and his horsemen into the sea,
and the LORD brought back the waters of the sea upon them.
✡ They camped east of the Jordan River just across from Jericho. When it was time to march into Canaan, “…the priests bearing the ark of the covenant [went] before the people…” (Joshua 3:14). This is what is recorded in the next two verses, Joshua 3:15 and 16:
…as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the
priests…dipped in the edge of the water…the waters…from upstream
…rose in a heap…and…the waters that went down into…the Salt Sea,
failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho.
Christian, remember this! God will be with us when we seem to be drowning in life’s challenges! We are Just Passing Through, and He will see us through, no matter what!
• Now let’s consider the second scenario mentioned in our featured Scripture: “When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” This was the experience of “…Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah…” (Daniel 1:6) – better known as “…Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.” (Daniel 3:14). “…Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon…” (Daniel 1:1) had issued an order:
…at the time you hear…all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship
the gold image…which I have set up…and whoever does not…shall be cast
immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. (Daniel 3:5, 6, and 14).
These three Hebrew young men were devoted to Jehovah, the God of Israel, and they refused to bow down to an idol! They were consequently thrown into the furnace, heated “…seven times more than… usual…” (Daniel 3:19). But God was with them! And, according to Daniel 3:27, on their “…bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of the fire was not on them.”
I was seriously burned one time when I was fifteen. We had just moved into a old and small house – the only heat being a fireplace. It was a chilly March day, and I had trouble getting the damp wood to ignite. I blew and blew on the small flame until it caught pretty well. Then I stood up, turning around to watch the TV across the room. But I became dizzy because of hyperventilating, and I passed out, falling backwards into the fireplace! I remember having a peaceful dream – until I woke up screaming! I had first, second, and third degree burns on my back and arm! But that is mild compared with some of the trials believers have faced in the past, are facing today, and will face in the future!
God does not promise we won’t go through floods and fire! (See II Timothy 3:12). As a matter of fact, it is recorded in Hebrews 11:35 through 37 concerning the faithful saints of Old Testament times: “…others were tortured…still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned…sawn in two…tempted…slain with the sword….” But the LORD was always there, giving courage, peace, even joy in the midst of these trials! (See Romans 8:18; Galatians 5:22, 23; James 1:2-4). And these martyrs knew they were Just Passing Through! The trials would not last, and even if they ended in physical death, they were going to a far better place! (See Matthew 10:28; Hebrews 11:8-10; 13-16; 38-40).
We are Just Passing Through! The trials won’t last forever, nor will this life where such testings seem to often come. Remember Christian – God is with us (see Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20), and He will see us through! In God’s eyes, there will be no permanent damage from the floods and fire of trials!