Light Divine (Photo Credit: Klebom)
These words in Isaiah are one of the most comforting scriptures for me:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1b)
The introduction to God‘s revelation in this chapter is Him letting us know very clearly where we stand in relation to Him. God made us. He created us. We owe everything we are to Him. From there He reveals Himself in the following ways:
His Encouragement Removes our Fears:
The call not to fear refers in context to the captivity the people experienced in Babylon, but can be extended to every generation of believers thereafter who were captives of sin. ‘Do not fear,” He says. He is with you. He has redeemed you. “You are mine,” He says.
Jesus emphasized this when He said that we are in the Father‘s hand and no one has to power to remove us from His hand for He is greater than all. Whenever Jesus detected fear in His disciples, He immediately told them, “Do not fear. It is I.” There is no fear in love and Jesus perfectly displayed the Divine nature by reaching out to the fearful with encouragement.
Being fearless does not mean a person has great faith in God. There are many fearless people who do not acknowledge God. To experience fear is human. God understands us. He remembers that we are only dust. He constantly encourages us not to fear. Just as fearlessness is not an indication of great faith in God, likewise being fearful do not necessarily mean a person has no faith in God.
David experienced fear. He certainly was not an unbeliever, yet he was honest about his fearful emotions. His faith in God allowed him to manage those fears and fear could therefore not manage him. He said, “When I am afraid I will trust in Thee.“
He Redeemed Us:
The term redeemed refers to His buying us back from the slavery of sin by the perfect sacrifice of His Son. When God says He redeemed us He also includes the fact that He has taken away the moral disabilities which beset us because of our slavery to sin. He paid the ultimate price to buy us back from the bondage of sin. He paid with His life. He did this because He says, “You are precious and honored in my sight…I love you.” (verse 4)
He Calls Us by Name:
He says He called us by name. This denotes the intimacy of friendship. There are some who wrongly believe that God calls by a religious title or by our affiliation to a denomination. But here we see clearly that God calls us all individually, by our names. He is deeply interested in each of us. He paid the highest price for us. We belong to Him.
He Reveals His Intention to Keep His Fatherly Responsibilities:
First God tells us He created us and then He encourages us by revealing His divine fatherly responsibilities that come with calling us out of the bondage of sin. God reveals much about His character in these few verses.
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 (vv 2-3a)
When God reveals Himself, He intends that revelation to be a light to our minds and a joy to our hearts. Therefore, as He reveals His divine responsibilities, He is also giving us divine consolation.
Note that He never says we will not go through hard times. But He encourages by saying that whatever it is we may ever go through in this life, we will never be alone again, ever! Never will He leave us. Never will He forsake us.
Reading Suggestion: Isaiah 43:1-8