Monday after the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Isaiah 43:1-13 (NKJV)
1 But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
3 “For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
4 “Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, and I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, and people for your life.
5 “Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west;
6 “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 “Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
8 Bring out the blind people who have eyes, and the deaf who have ears.
9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; Or let them hear and say, “It is truth.”
10 “You are My witnesses,” says the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me.
11 “I, even I, am the LORD, and besides Me there is no savior.
12 “I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, and there was no foreign god among you; Therefore you are My witnesses,” Says the LORD, “that I am God.
13 “Indeed before the day was, I am He; And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?”
The breadth and depth of these verses is overwhelming! There is verse eleven’s declaration that Jesus, the only Savior, is Yahweh, the (all caps) LORD, contrary to the Jehovah’s Witnesses; the assertion of eternity and uniqueness of the true God; the definite signs of the Messianic age that are seen fulfilled in the events of Jesus’ birth, the words and actions of His ministry, and the acts of His Apostles, such as the healing of the deaf and the blind, and the gathering of the Gentiles into the Kingdom of God. And that’s just scratching the surface!
The point of all of this theology is neither to overwhelm, nor merely to intrigue us with the complexity of its layers, but to show the richness of God’s grace and the lengths to which He goes for those who are His. He sacrifices Egypt to deliver His people and will let no nation stand in the way of His Church; they will give up their riches to Him voluntarily or He will simply exert His ownership over them. Therefore, He invites you to fear none, because He has called you by name, He has placed His seal upon you in Holy Baptism, marking you as one for whom Christ’s atonement has been received for forgiveness of sins and adoption to life. The things that men fear and that lead them away from His righteous ways are not fearsome to you anymore, because you know that even if you suffer from such things, the end of them all is freedom from sin and all of its effects in the resurrection.
We pray: Almighty and all gracious Father, strengthen me to face the things my flesh would fear, giving me confidence that none can take me away from Your love in Christ Jesus, Your Son, our Lord. Amen.