By Ellen Ceely
Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild animals will honour me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise. Isaiah 43:16-21 (NRSV)
Throughout the message of the Old Testament prophets, there is a repeated theme of God’s faithfulness in Israel’s unfaithfulness. God sent prophets like Isaiah to Israel to call them out for their sin and wrongdoing and tell them what would happen due to their unfaithfulness to his commandments. However, God never ended the prophet’s message with condemnation because that’s not who he is. God is the great deliverer, and the prophets always told Israel God would redeem and save them despite their sin.
Our passage today is part of that message. Isaiah reminds Israel of God’s faithfulness to them in the wilderness, how he defeated Egypt, and saved them from slavery. He reminds them of what happened before because it points directly to what will happen in the future. God wants them to forget the ways of the past and put aside their old beliefs and practices. He wants his people to relinquish their idolatry and selfishness once and for all.
Why? Because he’s about to do a new thing, and he wants them to recognize when he moves. God wants Israel to witness the amazing ways he will bless them.
Often, I forget God’s ways are not my own. I frequently believe I can control my destiny and force my life to look or be a certain way. It’s easy for me to forget to leave room for God’s sovereignty and remember I’m prone to sin just like Israel. The good news is God already made a way for me, the way he was making for Israel: Jesus. All I have to do when I remember is to go back to my Savior, resting in the knowledge I am forever known and loved.
Take time to reflect on your current personal events. Ask God to give you peace as you walk in faith and correct you if you’re clinging to old ways or sins he’s asked you to relinquish. Remember, as you continue throughout your life, God doesn’t ask you to be perfect; rather, he desires your heart. He asks for your faithfulness, and when you fail, he’s enough.We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments?
Why is trust so difficult? Unlike all the broken promises of this world, God’s redeeming promises are absolute, trustworthy, and true. The covenants of God afford us with abundant reasons to trust God with his plan for our lives. Trusting God: Redeeming Promises of the Word small group Bible study explores the six major redeeming promises of God found in his Word. Learn more about God’s commitment to his people, the nature of a covenant, and how you can find your security in being a child of God’s redeeming promises. Learn more about God’s promises today.
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