(Vs. 1) "O JACOB ... O ISRAEL." He is not speaking to national Israel nor to the Jews which are natural descendents of Abraham. The Lord is speaking to His elect of all nations, to all who have been redeemed by Christ, called by His Spirit, and who believe on Him. In several places in scripture these believers are called "sons of Jacob" or the "seed of Jacob" (Isa. 44:21-23, 45:19; Mal. 3:6).
True Israel and true sons of Abraham and Jacob are only those who are in Christ (Rom. 2:28-29; Gal. 3:7, 29).
We are sons of Jacob because, like Jacob, the Lord loved us, chose us, and gave us the birthright and a new name, "Israel," which means "a prince of God" (Gen. 32:28).
"O ISRAEL, FEAR NOT." If a person does not fear sin, death, and judgment, he is either ignorant of the fearfulness of these enemies or God has assured him of deliverance from them. That is exactly what we have here!
2. "FEAR NOT, I HAVE CALLED THEE BY THY NAME" (Jn. 10:14-16). This call is a DIVINE CALL--"I called thee" (Rom. 8:29-30). This call is a PERSONAL CALL-"by thy name." This call is FROM DARKNESS to the kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:13).
3. FEAR NOT, THOU ART MINE" (Jn. 17:9-10). You belong to me.
"WHEN YOU WALK THROUGH THE FIRE" of temptation, persecution, disappointment, and the Lord's "trial by fire," you will not be burned nor consumed (I Pet. 1:7).
Two comforting statements support us during these experiences. (a) "I will be with thee" (Psa. 23:4-6). (b) "When you PASS or walk THROUGH the water and the fire;" our way to glory lies THROUGH these paths of suffering. Yet these paths, though they seem long, will end in His glorious kingdom. They are temporary!
(Vs. 3) "FOR I AM THE LORD THY GOD."
2. Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba were all the enemies of God's people. He is saying that He will deal with, use, and even sacrifice all of these enemies to accomplish His purpose and the redemption of His kingdom (Exo. 11:5-7; I Cor. 3:21-23).
(Vs. 4) Every believer knows that by our natural birth, carnal nature, and walk, we are no different and in no wise better than the greatest sinner. But (a) "YOU ARE 'PRECIOUS IN MY SIGHT." I chose you, adopted you into my family, and blessed you with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ. (b) "THOU HAST BEEN HONORABLE;" or I have honored you by giving you to my Son to be His bride. I have crowned you with righteousness and glory and will conform you to His image. (c) "I HAVE LOVED YOU." This love is the source and spring of all mercy and blessings from our God (Jer. 31:3). This is everlasting, infinite, and unchangeable love in Christ (Rom. 9:38-39; 1 Jn. 4:10).
(Vs. 8-9) The Lord God challenges the heathen nations who have eyes but cannot see His glory, who have ears but hear not His word, who worship idols! Produce your gods who can declare the future from the beginning (Isa. 45:20-21). Give us witnesses and proof of the deity of your idols, or be still and know that I am God and there is none else. "IT IS TRUTH."
(Vs. 10) "YOU ARE MY WITNESSES."
"I AM THE LORD; BESIDE ME THERE IS NO SAVIOUR."
"I HAVE DECLARED YOU TO BE MINE AND I HAVE SAVED YOU."
"I WILL WORK AND NONE CAN HINDER NOR REVERSE IT."
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