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Janet's Corner

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The Care Giver

This lesson may sound familiar in its topic to many of you – familiar as we walk with the Lord in his Word, but also familiar to the study of Isaiah. A fact was reinforced to me this past week that there is basically a core of 5-7 root messages in the Word which God repeats over and over again. And in this later part of Isaiah, I believe that God repeats one of those messages over and over again to his people. One they obviously needed to hear and so do we. And so does the world around us. And that’s the principle of God’s grace.

 

Even though the Israelites have been identified over and over again as deaf and blind and disobedient children, God promises to be with them. He would not abandon them. It is a principle in God’s word that where sin abounds, grace abounds much more. That mercy triumphs over judgment.

This principle involves the specific message which God declares here in Isaiah 43, His grace is available because God’s children are precious in His sight.

 

How do we know that? It is through what He tells us and how he cares for us. Simple isn’t it? Is it any different in our every day relationships? We know we are precious to others by how they care for us and what they tell us.  Do you need a care giver in your life? WE all do. God will be your care giver!

 

Let’s see how the LORD our God tells us we are precious to Him and how he promises to care for us and not abandon us.

Read Isaiah 43:1-4

To those who love and are longing for God’s care and presence in their lives, chapter 43 of Isaiah contains probably some of the most quoted familiar and reassuring verses in scripture. We sing them… recite them… read them… especially in times of difficulties. Yet, not only can we find great comfort and assurance from them, these verses hold some building blocks of truth that we need to lay as the foundation of our Christian lives.

Read 43: 4: “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you….”

 

Precious means to be valued, to be prized.

 

Honored means to renowned, carrying a lot of weight. It is very similar to the word for glory.

In this scripture God is specifically speaking to the nation of Israel – a nation who is valued and carries a lot of weight in God’s eye. We can apply these promises to us if we are a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:7-9 links us to these blessings.Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you.’ So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”  So who is blessed? Those who believe, those who have faith in Jesus.”

 

God speaks to us today through this scripture. We will be blessed with the promises of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

          

God has begun this chapter with the evidence of why Israel and thus, we are, precious to Him and intermingled in these reasons are the ways he cares for us.

 

Look at the verbs here in verse 1: “But now, this is what the LORD says-he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel; “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

You can know you are precious in His sight because:

 

  1. You are God’s workmanship:

          God created you –brought you forth. You weren’t a mistake. You weren’t a process of evolution. God made you. He will not forsake the work of His hands.

          God formed you – fashioned you, molded you, pressed you into shape

          Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

  1. God purchased you - Redeemed you – bought you with a price  -  the price is the death of Jesus – We’ll see that more clearly next week. He will take care of those redeemed by his blood.

3. God called you by name - Summoned you by name – not by any name, but a proper and peculiar name. It denotes special interest in us, just as it does when we name our children. God named Israel. He names us Christians. And more personally, He calls you by name. Just as we call our children by name and when we call their name, we expect them to come to us, God calls us by name and says, “Come to me.”

 

So God has created, redeemed and called you by name. And you are HIS!!! You belong to none other than the God of Abraham, the God of Jacob, the LORD, Jehovah, the living Stone. I Peter 2:4 -5 “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” As you come to Jesus, you are chosen and precious to HIM…And whether there are times of trouble or times of joy, God will whisper in your ear – “YOU ARE MINE.”

 

God will care for us by promising to…

1. Deliver us

Verse 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.”

 

He will be with you no matter the various trials you will encounter. It’s not a matter of whether or not you will experience trials, but “when” they will happen. He will be with you. He is committed not to abandon you.

 

He is in the business of delivering His people.

Verse 3 God states that he is our covenant, redeeming God – “The LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.”

He is in the business of giving up others to save Israel.

When did he do that? The end of verse three mentions Egypt, Cush and Seba. These refer to Israel’s deliverance from their enemies – Egypt and Assyria.

He gives us an expanded example in verse 16  “This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters,  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.”

 

There’s Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. He gave up others to deliver His chosen people. He protects his people from invaders as He did in the case of Cush and Syria. They were invaded, but Jerusalem was not. God delivers us from captors and invaders.

He does this because we are precious and honored in His sight…verse 4 “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.”

God promises to deliver His people. Any rising waters or scorching fires in your life? God can deliver you!

 

2. He’s going to take care of you in another way. He will gather his children, no matter where they are scattered.

Look verses 5-6: Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. 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.

 

Again God says. “Don’t be afraid…for I am with you.”

He would do it then for his people scattered in the Assyria and Babylon, and He will do it again for the nation of Israel in the future – even now. How will he do this for us? Any of you have sons or daughters, brothers or sisters, mothers or fathers who have wandered from the faith? How we need to pray that God will cry out to those who have wandered from the faith and bring them back to Jesus. We need to pray that he will not only take care of them, but bring them back to Jesus. There are so many idols that can take them away. God says to those idols “Give them up.”

 

Why does he take care of His own – giving us grace and not judgment? Because he has created us, redeemed us, called us for a purpose. Verse 7  shows us this purpose.

“everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."

 

We are created for His glory! To bring the correct estimate of God to the world.

Then verse 21 “the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”

                                                                                                                                               

We are to declare His praise! And praise him through all things.

And we can praise Him because of whom God is…. (verses 11-14)… I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.  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. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?"

The LORD who is the covenant keeping God, was and is and will be the same. There is no savior other than Jesus. God is sovereign – he is omnipotent, all powerful. God says to us that we are his witnesses to this truth of who He is!

And so for today, for our lives, for our troubles, for our confusion that is bound to come, we can listen to the Lord ‘s word to us – Verses 18-19

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
 I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

 The care giver wants to do new things in your life. God has done great things, yet we will see greater things. Ultimately the sending of the Messiah and his established kingdom will be a “new thing.” The new heart we have received on believing, is a “new thing.” What about here and now in our lives. What is the new thing that God in his mercy, because you are precious in His sight, because he wants you to display his glory and praise him for it – what is the new thing He will do? Do you see it? Do you hope in the truth of who God is and who you are to him no matter the circumstances that are in your life? Or when something happens – what do you see springing up in your life – from God? Will you praise Him for it and let Him bring glory to himself?

 

You are precious in His sight….