God’s Protection of Israel

Just after 9/11, Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne, was interviewed by the Early Show on CBS. The interviewer asked, “How could God let something like this happen?” She answered, “I believe God is deeply saddened by this just as we are, but for years we’ve been t … More

Protection

The Lord confronts the nations and the islands in judgment (v. 1). The reference to nations and islands suggest all the world’s people. God told the nations that because He controls history, they really have no control over the future (vv 2-4). The Lord affirms that He is the one who brings events to pass (v. 4). He notes that the alliances between the nations will not help them as God’s will is carried out (vv 5-7). In fear, the nations everywhere will be driven to help and encourage each other (v. 6). However, rather than turn to the true God, these idolatrous people from the islands will get more and more involved in idol worship (v. 7).

God chose Israel through Abraham because He wants to and not because the people deserved it (vv. 8-10). Although God chose the Israelites to represent Him to the world they failed to do this; so He punished them and sent them into captivity in Babylon. In contrast with God’s choosing and helping Israel, He will not protect nations who oppose her. They will perish (vv. 11-12). The Lord says to his people, “Fear not (vv. 10, 13, 14)!” The Jewish remnant faced the challenge of a long journey home and the difficult task of rebuilding. This could bring many causes of fear, but there was one big reason not to be afraid. The Lord was with them and would give them great success. With the Lord’s help Israel will defeat the nations as if she were threshing and winnowing grain (vv. 15-16).

Even though Israel was in exile because of sin and unbelief, she still was not rejected by God.

Application

When I get concerned about the future, I just need to talk to God, who knows the generations of the future and He knows the generations of the past.

Isaiah 41:1-16 (English Standard Version)

Listen to me in silence, O coastlands; let the peoples renew their strength; let them approach, then let them speak; let us together draw near for judgment. Who stirred up one from the east whom victory meets at every step? He gives up nations before him, so that he tramples kings underfoot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow. He pursues them and passes on safely, by paths his feet have not trod. Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he. The coastlands have seen and are afraid; the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and come. Everyone helps his neighbor and says to his brother, "Be strong!" The craftsman strengthens the goldsmith, and he who smooths with the hammer him who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, "It is good"; and they strengthen it with nails so that it cannot be moved. But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off"; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you." Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge, new, sharp, and having teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and crush them, and you shall make the hills like chaff; you shall winnow them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the tempest shall scatter them. And you shall rejoice in the LORD; in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.

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