But now this is what the LORD says, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you O Israel: “Fear not, 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.
Isaiah 43:1 & 2
Recently our church choir has sung a song based on this scripture. The feel of the melody is very much like a lullabye.
Perhaps this is purely because of my current situation, but I am more and more seeing God as being tender towards us, His wayward children.
Oh how often we react in this life out of fear.
Fear of rejection
Fear of loneliness
Fear of humiliation
Because of these fears and the grip they have on our lives we frequently choose to do some colossally stupid things, but God will still gather us into His arms and (if we read His word) sing this song into our hearts.
Do not fear for I am with you,
do not fear,
I have redeemed you.
Do not fear for I have called you by name
and you are mine.
Sometimes we think, God can’t possibly forgive ME, I have rejected His counsel, I have turned my back, I’ve done unforgivable things.
but look WHO he was saying this to:
Jacob. the deceiver, the trickster, the con-man, polygamist, failure, complainer
Israel. the chosen, beloved, anointed, tower of faith, father of the 12 tribes, blessed and blessor of nations.
Absolute opposites, right?
Folks, remember: Those two names belong to the SAME human being.
I really believe that God, by deliberately including the two names of Jacob/Israel in this verse was speaking directly to people like you and me. People who feel like they are in a cycle of faith/unbelief or obedience/disobedience. (and don’t even try to pretend that you haven’t been there too, cause we ALL have)
God doesn’t say that he will only help us when we have been good. He is reminding us that we ARE redeemed. WE ARE HIS. All we need do is turn to Him. No matter how many times we have needed His saving grace before. He’s already proven His stamina: just look at how the children of Israel treated God through out the Old Testament. They constantly turned their backs on him. How much would we do for an earthly person who would love us like that: perfectly, and without EVER withdrawing that love No Matter What.
Just let it sink in. The God of Creation. the Most High, the Mighty Deliverer has CLAIMED YOU. Personally.
Read it again.
Do not fear for I have called you by name,
and you are mine.
YOU ARE MINE
what would you do in the grip of such love?