Summary: A straight forward message shared from the three points laid out so clearly in verse 1. Fear not because God has called you by name! Fear not because God has redeemed you! Fear not because You belong to God!
Isaiah 43:1New King James Version (NKJV)
The Redeemer of Israel
43 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
The context of these words and the fears of Isaiah’s day..
Now remember that in 722 BC, the nation of Israel fell to the invading armies of Assyria…
And as an instrument of God’s Judgment and wrath, Assyria carried the people of Israel off into captivity.
The people of Israel were in effect.. Deported out of their homeland and forced to move to the North Country.
A number of scholars place the dates for the book of Isaiah, from 740 to 700 with Isaiah offering Warning before, and Comfort and hope after the Nation of Assyria attacks.
That nation of Assyria was long feared for their brutal tactics… and so without going into detail…. The only thing that I can think of that even comes close to some of the things that I’ve read about, would be to say that some of tactics of our modern day ISIS are similar…
Another army that would come later… The Babylonias were described as a POT OF BOILING WATER… poured out on Judah.
And what I’m wanting you to catch a glimpse of here… is that when these Armies attacked from the North… They didn’t fool around.
These were fearful times with real dangers and real fears!
… and what’s interesting is that fears… aren’t just something that people experienced back in Isaiah’s time…
We have them too!
There are many things that cause us fear today…
I recently read about a young couple that was watching television on a rainy night.
They lived in Laguna Canyon, California.
Their nine-month old baby, was asleep in her crib in the next room.
And their first clue that something was wrong was when the television screen flickered, then, went black. The power was out.
and one of them said…. "I heard an explosion like the mountain was moving,"
"and I took the baby from the crib."
And husband and wife held each other and the baby close and braced for the impact as, a river of mud smashed through their apartment wall.
The mother tried to shield her baby, positioning herself so the mud and debris would hit her instead of the child.
The husband, in turn, tried to shield his wife and child.
And Strong as he was, and as determined as she was, they were swept down the hill by the force of the current.
And the young baby was torn from her mother’s arms.
…..When they finally came to rest, husband and wife lay a few feet from one another, unable to move.
And they could hear their baby crying in the distance, but could not see her.
And as the mother began to call for help. Moments later, the baby’s cries were replaced by something far more terrifying. Silence. There worst fears had come to visit…. *** Although the main points of this sermon and most of the explanations are different, this Illustration as well as several other thoughts were gleaned from an excellent sermon on this passage by Jeremy Houck on Sermon Central. Many thanks to Pastor Jeremy, and please do look up his messages! High marks! ***
Fears… Fears… Fears….
We all have them…
Sometimes I tell people that I never met a bumble bee or a tornado that I was very comfortable with…
And just like the young couple in the mudslide…. There are things that cause us fear!
One thing that Cindy and I are experiencing out in Sand Hollow is what it is like to be on a hilltop during a Thunderstorm!
In the valley.. the storm is above you… but on the hilltop, the storm rages all around you on every side and even below…
The lightning falls during the night….. it falls near and on feels closer.. the blinds are drawn and the dark house and yet, the home lights up inside like million camera flashes at a concert.
In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face
While the storm howls above me, and there's no hiding place
'Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry
Keep me safe till the storm passes by
Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by
And so I ask you….. What’s the worst that can happen?
**Everyone will have a different answer to that question. And your answer will largely depend on the things that you are most afraid of.