Day 5: Isaiah 43:1-2
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.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
I naturally skim read almost everything – particularly instructions (ask Judy!) Maybe you skimmed through the verses above! Skimming today’s verses we could simply summarise them as “God will be with you” and move on. But doing so would be to miss a depth of meaning that would have particularly resonated with the original hearers/readers of Isaiah’s words.
“You are mine”
The Lord reminds His people that they belong to Him – He made them, He redeemed them, He called them by name. He will keep and protect them because they belong to him. So too with us – we belong to him, we are part of his purpose, so how could he not be with us and look after us?
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”
Isaiah refers twice here to passing through the waters. To the original hearers it would have been clear that God was referring back to two particular times in history when God had delivered them. The first was when they passed through the Red Sea to escape from slavery in Egypt and the second when they crossed the Jordan to enter the promised land. God is pointing back to the past to reassure for the future – “look back to your history, remember how I was with you, I got you through to the other side. I am the same God who, whatever you come to in the future, will be with you and get you through to the other side”.
Passing through is to get you to the promises
If you read on in Isaiah 43 you will find that the verses we are looking at lead on to further promises for Israel’s blessing. In the past they had to go through the waters of the Red Sea and the Jordan in order to get to the promised land. Now he is saying he will be with his people because he has more blessing in store. Take a moment to think – what is it for us that God might be taking us into, that involves going through this time?”
Back in September our theme was “New Levels”. Maybe God is taking us through our current circumstances in order to bring us to those new levels that he wants for us – new levels of faith, new levels of kindness, new levels of prayer, new levels of knowing his presence., new levels of seeing His kingdom come and His will being done.
We can be assured – He has been with us in the past and He will be with us in the future as He takes us through into all that He has for us.