43:1 But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
43:2 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.
43:3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
43:4 Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life.
43:5 Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you;
43:6 I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth–
43:7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Israel was a nation that had experienced multiple exiles, countless attacks, and moments of fear and panic. They had enemies all around them and had faced many trials. Throughout the course of Israel’s history, God is constantly having to redeem the nation and put them through various trials in order to bring them back to Him.
Here in this passage God is detailing and outlining the depth of the love that He has for His people. God is once again reiterating His promises to His people. In this passage, we see His promises being portrayed in four main ways. I hope and pray that these bring an encouragement to your hearts as much as they did in my own life:
- Protection: He reminds that even though they “walk through fire, you shall not be burned” (verse 2)
- His love for them is steadfast: “they are precious in my eyes and honoured and I love you” (verse 4). This statement alone speaks volumes on how much His people are loved and valued by their Heavenly Father.
- Not to be afraid: “Fear not, I am with you;” (verse 5)
- They are ultimately His: “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, who I formed and made” (verse 7)
The love that God had for his people was relentless. Through disobedience, desertion, rejection, and blasphemy, God still continually called His people back to Him. I am reminded of the verse in Hosea when God expressed how He would draw His people back to him.
Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
16 “In that day,” declares the Lord,
“you will call me ‘my husband’;
you will no longer call me ‘my master.
How great it is for those who love the Lord. Even when we error in our walks He still pursues us. He still loves us. He cares for us relentlessly, with a love that is stronger than the grave.