A Few Thoughts to Consider
Do you struggle with guilt over poor decisions you’ve made?
When you reflect on previous years, do you wish you could have some do-overs on conversations, relationships, and financial decisions? If so, you’re not alone.
Isaiah 43 was written during a turbulent time in Israel’s history. It was likely written during the Babylonian exile when many Israelites were forcibly removed from their homeland and taken to Babylon. And amid this chaos, the Prophet Isaiah shares these powerful words:
1 Now this is what the Lord says—
the one who created you, Jacob,
and the one who formed you, Israel—
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you,
and the rivers will not overwhelm you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be scorched,
and the flame will not burn you.
“I have called you by your name; you are mine.” What a beautifully worded reminder.
The reason God’s people were in Babylon was because of a series of sinful choices they had made. Now, they’re living under the weight of their terrible decisions. And it’s into this terrible weight that God says,
18 “Do not remember the past events;
pay no attention to things of old.
19 Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.
This “new thing” is a nod to the context of this passage. In Isaiah 42, we read of a “suffering servant” who would be Israel’s promised Messiah. Thus, this new work is God’s declaration to Israel that everything will be different with the coming of Christ.
A Meditation to PRAY
Praise | Take verses 1-2 and 18-19 and meditate on them this morning. If we have accepted Christ as our Savior, we are part of God’s redeemed people. Worship him for that reality this morning.
Release | On this dawn of a new year, maybe you find yourself like the children of Israel. You regret some decisions and worry that God will always be angry with you. Today, release your fears to God and embrace a new beginning that can only be found in him.
Ask | In verse 22, God chastises Israel for not calling on him. But this is what God wants us to do. He longs for us to call to him. So, bring your concerns and fears to him today.
Yield | Nevertheless, we can replicate the words of Jesus in Luke 22:42, “nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
A Challenge to Act Like Christ
If you’ve wasted years, you’ll be tempted to lament this loss and live under a cloud of shame this year. Instead of acting like one of God’s redeemed, you will hang your head. But today, God wants you to live in relation to your status. If you have accepted Christ as your savior and are living in right relationship with him, you can have confidence he is working a new beginning in you. If you haven’t, there is no better time than today to start.
At the start of this new year, live out of this reality with confidence today. Trust that the same God who started a new beginning for others can start a new beginning for you.
*Unless you specify otherwise, comments and questions you ask may be featured in upcoming podcast episodes.