By Sally Lombardo
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…. ‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides me, there is no savior’… ‘There is no one who can deliver from my hand; I work, and who can hinder it?’” Isaiah 43:2-3, 10-13
Enhance today’s devotional by reading Isaiah 43:1—19
I have a close friend with whom I walk and talk about the challenges in marriage, life, and living our faith. We confess things and wrestle with family situations we do not understand and cannot fix. As much as we try to analyze and strategize, my friend and I usually arrive at the same conclusion as Isaiah in this reading: God is with us as we pass through deep waters. When we call on him, somehow, the “rivers do not overwhelm.” I leave our walks without solving all my issues, but strangely, I feel a sense of peace and joy about the day ahead.
In the same way, maybe these biblical writers of antiquity walked and talked together along the road. Maybe they gathered around a fire with their writing and scrolls, roasted wheat and almonds, and wrestled with God’s sovereignty. Surely they grappled with confusion in life, relationships, and the dilemma of being called as a prophet. They may have talked circles around the things they didn’t understand, finally arriving at the umbrella of God’s mercy. It may have been all they had.
As we study the Old Testament, we find authors shared prophecies, wording, and thoughts. Parallels to Isaiah 43 exist in Psalms, other prophetic books, and wisdom literature, such as the oldest book of Job. Having once written about Job, I feel he is an old friend with whom I walked and talked for a season. God taught me about waiting, receiving, and listening as I wrestled alongside Job. When God asks, “Who has put wisdom in the inward parts, or given understanding to the mind?”, Job answers, “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?” (Job 38:36, 40:4).
Job honors God’s authority without having to make sense of things, something we would do well to learn. The concept of letting God be God runs through the entire Bible. The psalmist writes, “But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God” (Psalm 73:16-17). When we come to the end of our striving, the heart of God waits for us, offering a place for intimacy, answers, and peace.
What keeps you from turning to God for security and peace? 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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