A Promise to Regather The Unworthy

Dr. Joon-Gon Kim, was a well-known Korean Christian leader. He witnessed his wife and father slaughtered before his eyes by communist sympathizers from his own village. He was beaten senseless and left for dead. He survived the beating and asked God to give him love for the … More

Witness

The Lord exhorts Israel not to fear (vv. 1-7) for their condition will show the world that He is truly the only God (vv 8-13). God had created and framed her and had redeemed her from bondage in Egypt and He will now bring her back home from Babylon in a new “Exodus.” He pictures difficult times as flood waters and fire tells Israel they should not give up or have fear because:

  1. He will be with them and protect them (vv. 1-3). He created them and made them special to Himself. He redeemed them and summoned them by name.
  2. He loves them (v. 4). This is not because of something the nation has done or some special quality Israel possesses, but because of His choosing.
  3. He promised to bring them back to their land (vv 5-7). Isaiah was speaking primarily of Israel’s return from Babylon. However, in a broader sense God’s people will be re-gathered when Christ comes back to rule and reign over the earth in His second coming.

Israel is God’s servant in the world and also God’s witness to the world (vv 8-13). It was their task to be a witness, telling the world who God is and what He has done. They demonstrate that He is the only God, that He existed before any god was made, and that He will continue to exist long after the last idol perishes (v. 10). Believers today share the responsibility of being God’s witness. People cannot see God directly, but they can see Him reflected in us.

Application

Israel’s task was to be a witness, telling the world who God is and what he has done. I need to remind myself that the only way some people may know what God is like is through my words and example. They cannot see God directly, but they can see Him reflected in me.

Isaiah 43:1-13 (English Standard Version)

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 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. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made." Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears! All the nations gather together, and the peoples assemble. Who among them can declare this, and show us the former things? Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right, and let them hear and say, It is true. "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. I declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and I am God. Also henceforth I am he; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work, and who can turn it back?"

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