READ: Isaiah 51-52:12
BACKGROUND: This is a passage of encouragement for the remnant of faithful Israelites in exile.
51:1 – God’s people are reminded that he is powerful and he is the creator.
9 – “Rahab” – Not the woman from Judges. The mythological chaos monster which, here, symbolizes Egypt.
10 – Referring to the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus 14.
22-23 – The cup of judgment for Judah would be given to Babylon to drink when they were conquered by Persia.
52:7 – The “good news” here is the message that the exiles can return to Jerusalem. Paul quotes this in Romans 10:15 when talking about the gospel message.
THINK: “Who are you that you would be afraid of man who dies, and the son of man who dries up like grass?” – Isaiah 51:12
A large number of people admit that they have a serious fear of computers. Just being in the same room with a computer causes some to suffer from feelings of panic, irregular heartbeat, breathing difficulties, dizziness, and trembling. One therapist says that these individuals have more than the normal fear of failure while learning to work with computers. They become so anxious that they are afraid they’re going to lose control, go crazy, or pass out. Does this make sense? No, but no phobia makes much sense. Yet the fear is real.
This reminds me of another phobia that many of us have—the fear of the opinions and actions of others. How must it look to God when we think and act as if our well-being rests solely in the hands of people? How does it look to the One who is in control when we become so afraid of people that we panic and forget to trust entirely in Him? Well, the prophet Isaiah told us. He said that fearing the reproach of people is foolish because they are dying creatures who, like grass, are here today and gone tomorrow (51:12).
Yes, people can do us great harm (vv.13-14), but the Lord has the last word (vv.15-16). Our future and everlasting well-being depend on Him and Him alone.
Faith can break the stranglehold of fear!
By: Mart De Haan in Our Daily Bread, July 29, 2001
ASK: Is there a time when I was overcome by fear that would have been different if I had put my trust in God? Does worrying about the opinions of others keep me from doing things I know God wants me to do sometimes?
PRAY: Thank God for being worthy of our total faith and trust and turn all of your fears over to him.