“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.”
I love seeing a verse in a new light. This has been a favorite of mine. But this morning I saw it, for the first time I can recall, in the context which was likely the original intent.
The verses before it speak of the blindness of Israel and the difficulties they were experiencing as a result of their rebellion against the Lord. “Who gave up Jacob to the looter, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned, in whose ways they would not walk, and whose law they would not obey? So he poured on him the heat of his anger and the might of battle; it set him on fire all around, but he did not understand; it burned him up, but he did not take it to heart” (Isaiah 42:24-25).
These two verses lead directly into Isaiah 43:1. What a beautiful transition! In view of the sins and blindness of God’s people, He declares that He has redeemed them and called them by name. The One who created them, the One who formed them and intricately weaved them together, has stated who they are—they are His.
The shift here begs the question—what changed? How did Israel go from blindness, guilt, and due punishment to redemption, security, and peace? The difference here is Messiah, the Savior whom God sent to rescue His people. The only One who could fully pay the debt owed for our sin. The only Hope we had. “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21b).
When we choose to trust in Jesus Christ, these words are written on our heart: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Fear is driven away, conquered by the perfect love God the Father pours into our heart with His Spirit. We are able to approach Him in confident faith, knowing that He will hear us and answer in faithfulness. Not because we earned it. Not because we’re better than anyone else. But because we have been redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus, who bought us back for the glory of God. He has become our salvation. He is our hope.
To the very end of the ages, Jesus will be exalted for His victory over sin and the salvation known through Him. And it doesn’t matter what nation or family or situation you were born into. All that matters is Him. His power. His grace. His glory. His blood, which is enough to cover every sin that darkens your heart. He is enough. Place your trust in the One who will forgive, the One who will cleanse, the One who will save you to the uttermost, and in all the coming ages you will know the immeasurable riches of God’s grace toward us in Christ Jesus, of whom it will be sung, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).