Read Isaiah 43. A love letter to His people.
It seems recently, that there is an increasing attack on God’s people. The enemy of our souls is trying to separate us from the Savior of our souls. God, however, has promised that nothing can separate us from His love. We can trust that He will stand by His word. He cannot lie. We can rest assured that what He has promised, He will fulfill.
When we walk through the flood waters of trials and struggle against the river of constant stress, we can rest on the fact that He, the God Who loves us, has our back. While we may sometimes wonder why things happen and can’t always see our way ahead, we know that our Lord and Savior has already set our path straight. He has a plan in place for us. That plan is set on an eternal time frame and not our time frame. We see things from a human point of view. It is rarely easy to see where we are going, and very difficult to develop the patience to wait on the Lord.
We can trust that the Lord is with us in the refining fires. While He is making us as pure gold, and while He is allowing the dross to be burned away, He stands beside us. He is with us when He allows the pruning in our lives. He desires us to bear a higher quality fruit and we can only do that if we allow Him to trim away the excess limbs and the dead branches in our lives.
There is nothing easy about living the life of service to the Redeemer and Lover of our souls. Jesus walked a lonely and difficult path in obedience to His Father. He did not have it easy but He felt we were worth the price He had to pay. Isaiah 43:4 tells us that we are precious and honored in His sight and that He loves us. He, God, paid a high price for us so that He could give us an eternity of beauty and joy. While serving the Lord is never easy, His love and wisdom and guidance can make it easier. Remembering that we are His people and that He calls us by name shows how much He loves us. He knows the number of hairs on our head and the thoughts and dreams in our hearts. He is ours and we are His. He loves us.
Israel’s Only Savior
43 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.
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth--
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
who have ears but are deaf.
9 All the nations gather together
and the peoples assemble.
Which of their gods foretold this
and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord,
and apart from me there is no savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed--
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.
13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
When I act, who can reverse it?”
God’s Mercy and Israel’s Unfaithfulness14 This is what the Lord says--
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“For your sake I will send to Babylon
and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians,
in the ships in which they took pride.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One,
Israel’s Creator, your King.”
16 This is what the Lord says--
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.
22 “Yet you have not called on me, Jacob,
you have not wearied yourselves for me, Israel.
23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings,
nor honored me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with grain offerings
nor wearied you with demands for incense.
24 You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me,
or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices.
But you have burdened me with your sins
and wearied me with your offenses.
25 “I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.
26 Review the past for me,
let us argue the matter together;
state the case for your innocence.
27 Your first father sinned;
those I sent to teach you rebelled against me.
28 So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple;
I consigned Jacob to destruction
and Israel to scorn.