Isaiah 44

When fear creeps into our lives our tendency is for self preservation. This tendency can act as a wedge between us and God. Into such a condition the Lord reassures in Isaiah 44 with a vision of wholeness for His people.

1 ‘But now listen, Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.

The Lord starts with identity, we are His servants, the people He has chosen. We are not dispensable add-ons who will be cast aside. The Lord invested heavily in us, we cost Him His son’s life! We are people who are chosen in love, with great patience and care.

2 This is what the Lord says – he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you:

The Lord formed us with great care. Many question this. We look at our imperfections and question the Lord’s goodness in creating. We forget that those ‘perfect’ in themselves are those with an inner wealth giving the impression that they don’t need God, or even worse that God needs them.

It is no accident that the following statement is that the Lord will help us. Whatever our state here on earth, with the Lord we are complete. Only together can we work for glory.

The more a person is well-endowed with gifts, the less they are able to appreciate the need to work with God in order to achieve this glory.

do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.

We are placed by the Lord in situations of apparent danger or failure. When we appreciate the enormity of our situation fear rises up in our hearts. This stage is appropriate; it is a move from a naïve presumption to the realisation of our desperate situation. Then God speaks into our hearts to settle us and assure us that all will be well.

The Lord’s assurance reiterates, we are His servants; we are the ones He has chosen. He will not leave us high and dry. He knew we were to enter into such a situation. We were chosen for it by the Lord of the universe who stands with us.

3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Now comes the curious twist. Instead of saying I will get you out of the mess, the Lord points to a place way beyond the crisis. He points to a future in which our heart’s deepest needs are satisfied. He satisfies not by the trinkets that are in essence the ‘comfort foods’ we crave, but by the true blessing that is found only in Him.

This blessing of the Lord goes on to our descendants.

4 They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.

The fruit of the Lord’s work will be a lush fruitfulness. When the Lord is at work there is strength, vitality and fruitfulness.

5 Some will say, “I belong to the Lord”; others will call themselves by the name of Jacob; still others will write on their hand, “The Lord’s,” and will take the name Israel.

Isaiah began with identity, and now ends there. By contrast to the ‘perfect’ ones who think so highly of themselves, the offspring blessed by the Lord will identify themselves first and foremost as the Lord’s. Not by their nationality. Not by the sports team they support, or even by their work, but they are ready to write on their hands – I am the Lord’s.