“So do not fear1, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NIV
These verses are directed to the Babylonian Exiles. Fear is a real emotion that involves apprehension or the uneasy anticipation of some future dread. It is a natural emotion that we all must deal with from time to time because we are human and not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. It is when we focus on God and not our fear that we can utilize all the power the Spirit provides to overcome those fears. God is infinitely greater than any person or thing that could come against us. No comparison can be found between the might and awesome power of God who can with a word create all things and the power of any created being or thing. It would be like a world-class boxer going in the ring with an unpolished club fighter. There is no comparison.
The reason God shares these encouraging words thru the prophet Isaiah is to silence the fears and bolster the faith of these servants of God. It was clear that fear, rather than faith, was the prevalent attitude of the exiles. God had been their all in all thru the worst of times, therefore they are being reminded to depend on His presence. By virtue of His very name (Immanuel) God is always with us. God is not speaking harshly to them, but rather with tenderness and compassion. As a believer trusts in and relies on the Lord He will strengthen and uphold them in the face of the direst of circumstances. There is nothing the enemy can do to us that God does not know about and allow for His own purposes. There is no time that we are alone, for if we are born again His Holy Spirit resides within us.
As for the wicked that would come against us, Psalm 372 describes their future: “For those who are evil will be destroyed, …” “the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.” “The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.” Fear not my children for the Lord is with you to sustain you and use you to be a blessing to the unsaved of this world. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource(s): American Heritage Dictionary; Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary; The Reformation Study Bible and The Asbury Bible Commentary.
1 According to BibleGateway.com the phrase “Do not be afraid” appears 81 times in scripture from Genesis thru Revelation.
2Psalm 37:8-14 “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.”