But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
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.
3 For I am the Lord, your God,
The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Is 43:1-3
As I pray for those in Nashville and all over Tennessee who have passed through the rivers, literally, I pray that God will reveal Himself to these men, women and children. As I read these words this morning they held new meaning. Last week we saw the waters sweeping over houses, cars, businesses and more. This passage reminds us that God's promise is not that the waters will stay within the banks of the river or that the fire won't get out of hand, His promise is that through the flood and flames, HE will be our Savior. He is the Holy One of Israel, YOUR SAVIOR!
Whether you were impacted by last weeks flood or not, we have all faced floods in our own lives. We have all faced times when we thought the fire was too hot for us to handle…the flames seemed a little too intense. But during these times, God promises that even though the flames can be all around you, when you cling to HIM, “the flames will not set you ablaze.”
The beginning of the passage is so intimate as God talks about forming us, creating us, REDEEMING us and calling us by name. I am always overwhelmed that God knows my name and that he formed me. I don't know why I just can't get over that fact. I guess living in a society where everything is mass-produced, it seems so counter-cultural to have a God who knows us personally. And He doesn't just know us personally, but He loves us intensely! He created us, knows us better than we know ourselves, and yet loves us more than we could ever imagine.
He knows our needs and has the power, authority and resources to meet them in ways we can only imagine. Whatever floods or flames you are facing today, take heart that even if the flood waters have taken your home or your possessions, God is the REDEEMER your soul! Run to Him! He is waiting with open arms! He is the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!
To learn more about how you can support the flood victims of Tennessee as well as victims of other natural disasters, please check out Hope Force International at www.hopeforce.org.