February 4, 2015
Isaiah 43:1-3; 41:10
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Our series is based on Isaiah 43:1 through 3 and 41:10, presented in reverse order because I think the truth of Isaiah 41:10 flows out of the first three verses of Isaiah 43. And that truth – summarized – is God Intimately Knows Us!
…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, your Savior….Fear not for I am with you; be not dis-
mayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will
uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
In verse 1 of Isaiah 43 we saw in the last blog the basis of “Fear not….” God created and formed mankind originally, then redeemed us when we fell into sin. One definition of redeemed is “…to be bought out of the slave-market of sin!” Having been bought, we are then God’s property, as Paul reminds us in I Corinthians 6:19 and 20:
Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in
you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were
bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit,
which are God’s.
What was the price? I Peter 1:18 and 19 tells us, “…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold from your aimless conduct…but with the precious blood of Christ….”
What is the result of God’s redemption and possession? Three things in Isaiah 43:2:
• “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you….” Many of God’s promises are based on what He had already miraculously accomplished for the Jewish people. When they left Egypt after 400 years of Egyptian slavery, Pharaoh and his army pursued them, thinking the Israelites were trapped from their escape by the Red Sea.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your
staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the
Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts
of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them….The Egyptians pursued
them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them
into the sea….The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen
—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea.
Not one of them survived. (Exodus 14:15-17; 23; 28 – NIV).
God is saying, “I have done it before, and I will do it again, because you are My child. You belong to Me, and I will protect and deliver you!”
• “When you pass…through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.” The Israelites wandered in the Sinai desert for 40 years because of disobedience to God. When finally they were commanded to go into the Promised Land of Canaan, the Jordan River stood in their way, overflowing its banks in the rainy season.
…as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their
feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It
piled up in a heap a great distance away…while the water flowing down to
…the Salt Sea…was completely cut off. So….The priests who carried the ark
of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the
Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the
crossing on dry ground. (Joshua 3:15-17 – NIV).
Again God is saying, “I have done it before, and I will do it again, because you are My child. You belong to Me, and I will protect and deliver you!”
• “When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; nor shall the flame scorch you.” Although Isaiah prophesied this around 700 BC, it was precisely fulfilled over a hundred years later when Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego) refused to worship King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon’s golden image and were thrown into the fiery furnace.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar…spoke, saying…”Did we not cast three men
bound into the midst of the fire? …Look! …I see four men loose, walking in
the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like
the Son of God.” …Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from
the midst of the fire. And [on] these men…the fire had no power; the hair of
their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell
of fire was not on them. (Daniel 3:24-26).
For the third time, God is saying, “I have done it before, and I will do it again, because you are My child. You belong to Me, and I will protect and deliver you!”
To paraphrase Matthew 6:30, Jesus says to us, “The Father took care of all these things, will He not much more take care of you, O you of little faith?”