“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine.”
This is my favourite Bible passage.
God promises in this passage to be with us through all things, calling each and every one of us into His presence.
We live in the light of Christ’s resurrection and so have less reason to be afraid than those in Old Testament times who were exiled in Babylon. However, just like those people, we are human and it is easy to be afraid when an unseen virus threatens us today, with no protection against it. But it is refreshing to hear these words from Isaiah at times like this. The prophet reminds us that it was God who created us, formed us as people, a community, and that God has named each and every one of us, identifying us as treasured possessions. We don’t let go of treasured possessions, and God will not let go of us.
Belonging to God though doesn’t mean we will escape the troubles of this world. On the contrary, we should expect to face difficulties for they are a part of life and how creation works, and it is how we grow and learn as people and in faith.
References of passing through waters and rivers would have reminded the Jewish exiles of how God saved their ancestors from Egypt and brought them into the Promised land. God’s presence and power equipped Moses for his task of leading people on their journey out of slavery. So these words should encourage us in present times, encourage us to stay with and stay close to each other and lead others. The Israelites were not journeying alone, and neither are we. Let’s remember that today – we are stronger together.
We have the benefit of knowing of the Risen Christ, unlike the Israelites, so we know He has promised to be with us always and grants us peace. So fear not, God has saved you. He has called you by name, you are His.