Sermons

Summary: God’s favor and good-will to his people speak abundant comfort to all believers. All who are redeemed with the blood of his Son, he has set apart for himself. Those that have God for them need not fear who or what can be against them. True believers are p

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Opening illustration: I’ll never forget my first experience using an automatic car wash. Approaching it with the dread of going to the dentist, I pushed the money into the slot, nervously checked and rechecked my windows, eased the car up to the line, and waited. Powers beyond my control began moving my car forward as if on a conveyor belt. There I was, cocooned inside, when a thunderous rush of water, soap, and brushes hit my car from all directions. What if I get stuck in here or water crashes in? I thought irrationally. Suddenly the waters ceased. After a blow-dry, my car was propelled into the outside world again, clean and polished.

In the midst of all this, I remembered stormy times in my life when it seemed I was on a conveyor belt, a victim of forces beyond my control. “Car-wash experiences,” I now call them. I remembered that whenever I passed through deep waters my Redeemer had been with me, sheltering me against the rising tide (Isaiah 43: 2). When I came out on the other side, which I always did, I was able to say with joy and confidence, “He is a faithful God!”

Let us turn to Isaiah 43 and catch up with God’s promise for His people and check it out to see how it applies to us today.

Introduction: God’s favor and good-will to his people speak abundant comfort to all believers. The new creature, wherever it is, is of God’s forming. All who are redeemed with the blood of his Son, he has set apart for himself. Those that have God for them need not fear who or what can be against them. What are Egypt and Ethiopia, all their lives and treasures, compared with the blood of Christ? True believers are precious in God’s sight; his delight is in them, above any people. Though they went as through fire and water, yet, while they had God with them, they need fear no evil; they should be born up, and brought out. The faithful are encouraged. They were to be assembled from every quarter. And with this pleasing object in view, the prophet again dissuades from anxious fears.

What are the promises for God’s people?

1. Redemptive protection (vs. 1 – 2)

The opening statement lays the foundation of the Word of promise by affirming that this is the nation that God had formed. The language is covenantal: You are mine. The epithets that the prophet uses for God refer to the historical act of the foundation of the nation at Sinai - but the terms are creational. The expression “he who created you” (bora’aka) uses the main word for creation (bara’), a term that means to fashion or refashion something into a new and perfect creation. It can have the idea of renewal or transformation. In the biblical texts only God is the subject of this verb. So the formation of the Israelites into a nation, the people of God, is being called a creation. Likewise, Paul uses creation terminology for our salvation in the New Testament. The second epithet is “he who formed you” (yotserka). This word (yatsar) means to form or fashion something by design, a plan, a blueprint (Genesis 2: 7). It is the word for an artist - the participle is the Hebrew word “potter.” So the expression says that God is the creator of the nation, and that His creation is by design.


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