The Bitesized Bible
16 June 2021
by Revd Tim Bradshaw
I was flitting through my Old Testament wondering what I could share with you. As I wandered through Isaiah, these verses leapt out of the page at me, and I sat down and read them. They are wonderful words and so reassuring in uncertain times and in good times.
Let us explore it together.
“Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you”…
What are the effects of fear? We may run away or hide. We may avoid a person, activity, or occasion. There are so many levels of fear, but they eat away at our self-esteem and our inner stability. We may become more defensive when people speak to us or we may stop communication. We may become aggressive because of our fear. We may become caught up in superstition which can take hold and seriously affect our mental health. We may give into malevolent forces or surrender to those who threaten us. For example, those scam callers who phone and tell us that the tax office is going to take legal action, unless we pay what we are supposed to owe.
In a moment of fear or at times of threatening danger, we can act unwisely, precipitously or we may not act when we should.
Fear eats us up. It can take hold and it is there constantly in the background. If we have done something wrong, there is fear that we will be caught out and that is both stressful and debilitating.
In our God we have someone who will take hold of that fear and give us courage to act wisely and in his strength, we can confront our fears and our failings.
To be redeemed is a very New Testament concept. It means to compensate for faults or bad aspects. It means to gain or regain possession in exchange for payment.
“I have redeemed you”…
God releases us from the prison of fear, whatever the reason for it. He does so in love. We know he loves us, beyond our understanding, because Jesus gave everything for us when he died on the cross. In his resurrection we can know his almighty power to lift us, from a sense of fear to a place of peace and trust in Him.
“The peace of God which passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7)
“I have called you by your name”…
This is personal. This is for each one of us. God calls us by our own name. It is specific and our response is voluntary. It is like when a child thinks they have lost their parent and they hear their name called. When we respond we are united with God? We experience a joy, a sense of relief, comfort, and security.
2 “When you pass through the
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze”.
This passage is for us! Whatever we go through! This was a message for the people of Israel centuries ago but is very relevant today.
“For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour;”
So, whatever you are afraid of, hand it over to God and hear him call your name.
Last Updated: 19 June 2021