“’But now listen, Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen. This is what the Lord says— he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.’” Isaiah 44:1-2
Reading through the book of Isaiah has been one of the most overwhelming yet fruitful journeys I have embarked on with Scripture. And throughout this journey, I’ve caught some glaring patterns. One chapter, God will be explaining clear as day how He is about to deliver Israel over to total destruction, how they will experience immense and long-lasting hardship—basically how bad things are about to get for them. But then, immediately after, God will command these same people, “Do not fear.”
This can be quite ironic to us at first. How could the Israelites not fear something so horrendous that was about to occur? How could they not live in a constant state of anxiousness when considering their impending doom?
Well, if we take a step back and look at the larger picture, we see that two of the most reoccurring themes within the book of Isaiah are God’s character and God’s chosen people. Every horrid prophecy is sandwiched between reminders of how great and kind God is. Every other chapter is a declaration of God’s commitment to keep and protect His people.
So, how can the Israelites face their soon coming downfall yet be commanded to not live in fear? Because of the God they serve, and because of His sweet promise to keep His chosen.
Whatever situation we find ourselves in, just like Israel, we have been commanded to not fear. Not because the road will be easy, not because we will never experience pain, and not because we are guaranteed to walk through life unscathed, but simply because of the God we serve and because of His endless promise to keep His chosen.
Fear not, God’s chosen. You will not be forgotten.
Lord, as I face situations which threaten to wrestle up fear, as I walk through hardship, doubt, or pain, I pray Lord for the strength and for the push to rely solely on You and Your promises—to lean on Your character and Your ability to keep me close and offer me help.
What do you typically lean on in times of trouble? Your own ability to get yourself out of it? The company of friends or a spouse? Distractions like television or a busy schedule? How can you learn to slowly release these dependencies and instead lean confidently on God and His character?