“I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, And of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And you forget the LORD your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth; You have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he has prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor? The captive exile hastens, that he may be loosed, that he should not die in the pit, and that his bread should not fail. But I am the LORD your God, who divided the sea whose waves roared— The LORD of hosts is His name. And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, lay the foundations of the earth, And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’”
History and Context:
Isaiah is the prophet most quoted by Jesus and by the New Testament authors. There are many Messianic prophecies throughout Isaiah, but the real purpose of the book was to admonish the kings of Judah to rely on the potection of God. Isaiah's ministry focused on the reign of two different kings, Ahaz and Hezekiah. Ahaz did not listen to Isaiah and relied on the protection of Assyria rather than God's protection. Hezekiah also didn't listen at first but as things went bad he turned to God for protection and God rescued the kingdom of Judah. Isaiah continually refers to God as "The Holy One of Israel". This phrase is repeated 26 times in the book of Isaiah and only 6 times in the rest of the Old Testament.
God is challenging the people to trust Him. He says, "Why are you afraid of a man who will die?" This passage beautifully puts into words the absurdity of fearing mankind when God is on our side. God reminds us of who He is. He is the one that created the universe, who "stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth" and He has covered you, and you are afraid of a man? Of course this was spoken to Israel at the time, but we are now the ones that God wants to call "His people". We are now the ones that He wants to cover.
Simply remember today that God has "covered you with the shadow of His hand". He is there with you! He is on your side! What can man do to you? Be encouraged, be courageous, follow what He has put in your heart, and don't be held back by the fear of man. Is God leading you to speak to someon about Him? Is there a problem that needs addressed at your workplace and no one seems to be addressing it? Is there something that has been on your heart to do for years but you're afraid of what people will think? Then do it! And again, if you want to share a testimony of stepping out against your fear of man, I would love to hear it! I'm sure my readers would love to as well. It's always encouraging to hear of someone else's success.
Lord, you are the creator of the universe! You are the Holy One of Israel! You are the Amighty One! I pray that I will trust in you, in all that I do today. Help me to not let the fear of man hold me back from your will for my life. Help me to remember constantly that you are on my side. I love you Lord! Thank you! Amen.