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August 28 | Isaiah 41:8-14


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Past, Present, and Future

by Pr. Dave Mann


Isaiah 41:8-14 is a passage that describes God’s warm heart toward us who believe. Let’s look at it from the perspective of the verbs, that is, God’s actions toward us in the past, the present, and the future.


In the Past

Verses 8-9 announce what God has done for us in the past.

I have chosen.

I took you from the ends of the earth.

I have called you.


If that is not enough, he called our father in the faith, Abraham, “his friend.” No other person in the entire Bible bears that title. (See also 2 Chronicles 20:7 and James 2:23.) Abraham demonstrated great faith in many moments, but he was far from 100%. Nevertheless, God called our father Abraham, “My Friend”! Such an honor to be grafted by faith into that family!


In the Present

The present gets but a half-verse—verse 10a. The present is only a moment. It is the abutment of the past with the future. The past moments in our lives are growing in number every day. The future is infinite. But the present is the briefest of moments. Nevertheless, the Lord is with us in it. And he wishes to ban fear, dismay, and worry from it.

Do not fear.

I am with you.

Do not be dismayed.

I am with you.


In the Future

The future stretches from verse 10b to 13.

I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11 All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. 12 Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all.


Return to the Present with the Future

Then, the Lord returns to blend the present with the future in verses 13-14.


The Lord himself is The Great I AM, the ever-present One. He is the One who takes our hand, especially in times of difficulty. The One who holds our hand in the present promises to help us in the future. Though we feel small and insufficient—a worm and little (Job 25:6 & Psalm 22:6)—the Lord reminds us that The Great I AM has promised to help us. He is our Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.


PRAYER

Lord God, The Great I AM, how can I count the number of times you have rescued me and called me to yourself? Your promises for the future are never-ending, just as you have no end. Thus, I stand before you, here in the present, in your presence. I have no right to be here, but because of your grace and your calling on my life, you are with me. I am eternally grateful. In Jesus’ name, Amen.



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