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Sunday, April 26th, 1992
But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee.
The message that I am going to bring to you today, I hope, will be of great comfort to many of you and much help. I do hope that you will be led to listen. We will not learn anything unless we listen and unless we hear. “He that hath ears to hear, (our Lord said), let him hear.” If you will be led to listen prayerfully and carefully, I believe that from this message you will gain much assurance and much comfort in the mercy of our God, through Christ Jesus our Lord.
If you would like to follow in the scriptures, and I hope you will. It is so important that you see what I am preaching in God’s Word. That is so important, “That your faith shall not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God and in the Word of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” That is where faith comes to us.
Here is the scripture, turn to Isaiah 43. This is one of my favorites of all the scriptures. My grandson says, “That it is my most favorite of all the scriptures.” Here is the title of the message: “FEAR NOT.”
“Fear not,” or in other words, don’t be afraid. If what the Lord says in this text is true of you and me, then we have nothing to fear. Is it true of you and me? That is the question. It is true. You see, fear is an emotion that we all feel at times. It is an emotion that all people experience. Most all of us feel the emotion of fear, especially in regard to eternal matters.
Do you fear death and judgment? “It’s appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment.” After death, there is judgment and eternity. A person that does not have some concern or fear regarding these four things, death, sin, judgment and eternity, is either a fool or is ignorant of these matters. I hope that it can be said of us when I finish this message, that we have a good hope of being delivered from those four things, sin, death, judgment and a separation from God eternally.
Do you have such a hope? You may say, “Well, I’m not a fool preacher, and I’m certainly not ignorant of those things.” Do you have a hope? We do, we have a good hope if these words are true of us. Will you listen to Isaiah 43? Look at it and listen to it. Turn to Isaiah 43:1, “But now, thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, he that formed thee, O Israel, fear not,” (don’t be afraid). In verse five, he says it again, “Fear not, and do not be afraid, I’m with you.”
Now, the first thing that we have to establish is to whom is the Lord speaking. I know who is speaking here. It says that the Lord is speaking here. “Now, thus saith the Lord.” He is speaking to someone and that someone is called Jacob. He is speaking to Jacob and to Israel. He is not speaking to that person, Jacob, (necessarily that was back yonder), that lived and whom God redeemed. This is not just written for Jacob. He’s not speaking to national Israel.
A lot of people get that confused. The nation of Israel and the person called Jacob is not the one He is speaking to here. He’s speaking to sons of Jacob and is speaking to spiritual Israel. They are sons of Jacob, represented by Jacob, the spiritual Israel represented by national Israel. He’s speaking to His people, called, “Sons of Jacob.” He calls them sons of Jacob frequently in the scripture. I will tell you why in a moment. He is speaking to true Israel in these verses, telling us not to be afraid.
I want you to notice several verses. In Romans 2:28, it says, “He’s not a Jew who is one outwardly. He is a Jew, which is one inwardly.” Romans 9:6 and 7 says, “They are not all Israel which are of Israel, but in Isaac, shall thy seed be called.” That nation Israel, back in the Old Testament was simply a representative of the church of Zion, of the people of God, and the New Jerusalem.
Galatians 3:7 says this, “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, these are the children of Abraham.” Who are the children of Abraham? It is those who believe on Christ. It doesn’t matter what kind of nationality they are, those who do not believe in Christ are not children of Abraham. They are not even the seed of Abraham. Galatians 3:16 clearly says, “That seed is Christ. If you be Christ’s then are you sons of Abraham.”
Listen to Galatians 3:26, “You are the children of God by faith in Christ.” Listen to Philippians 3:3, “We are true Israel who worship God in spirit, who rejoice in Christ Jesus, who have no confidence in the flesh.” So, here we have in Isaiah 43, the Lord says, “Fear not, don’t be afraid, O Jacob. Fear not, don’t be afraid, O Israel, I am with thee.”
He’s not just talking to people who live in the Orient or the Far East; or people in a little nation, he’s talking to sons of Jacob. He’s speaking to true Israel. “He is not a Jew, which is one outwardly. He’s a Jew, which is one inwardly. Circumcision is not in the flesh, it is in the heart.” You are looking at a full-fledged Israelite right here.
It doesn’t matter if you came from China or Scotland, Africa, France or Spain. It doesn’t matter what your background or heritage is. If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you are the son of Abraham. If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you are a child of God. If you are a saved person who knows the grace of God in Christ Jesus, you are Israel. You are a son of Jacob.
If you do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you are not redeemed by His grace and you are not Christ’s seed, then it doesn’t matter. You may be a Hebrew of Hebrews, but you are not an Israelite. You are not a child of Abraham. You are not a Son of God.
Now, that is so clear. It says so plainly, that “They are not all Israel which are of Israel. But, in Isaac, in the chosen seed, shall thy seed be called.” We are sons of God by faith in Christ. You are children of God by faith in Christ. “Know ye therefore, that they which are of faith, these are the children of Abraham.”
Why are we called sons of Jacob? He says, “Fear not,” don’t be afraid O Jacob, sons of Jacob.” He says that so often. He calls us sons of Jacob in Malachi 3. He calls us sons of Jacob in Isaiah 44. He says, “The Lord hath redeemed thee, O sons of Jacob, the Lord hath glorified Himself in Israel.”
I’ll give you several reasons why we are called sons of Jacob. I am a son of Jacob and you are a son of Jacob if you are a believer. We’re called sons of Jacob because the Lord loved him and loved us. He loved Jacob and He said that. He said that twice. “Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated.” Isn’t that what the scripture says? He said, “I have drawn thee, I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore, with loving kindness, have I drawn thee.” We’re sons of Jacob because God loved us.
Secondly, we’re sons of Jacob because God chose us. It says, “The Lord hath chosen Jacob for himself and we are sons of Jacob.” The Lord loved us, the Lord chose us. We’re called sons of Jacob because, like Jacob, the Lord called us to faith. He crossed our path. He met us at Bethel, (the House of God). That is what Bethel means, the House of God.
One night Jacob had stolen his brother’s birthright and was running from his brother Esau. He was fleeing from home. Everyone was down on him. He was running through the night and he lay down to sleep and God met him. The Lord said, “Jacob I’ve loved you, I’ve chosen you, I’ve called you and I will be with you.” God met him. Jacob called the name of that place Bethel, (House of God). “I met the Lord face to face.” We’re sons of Jacob. Has He crossed your path?
In the next place, we are called the sons of Jacob because like Jacob, the Lord has blessed us and given us a new name. He said, “What is your name O Jacob?” Jacob said, “Jacob.” Do you know what Jacob means? It means (supplanter or cheat). The Lord said, “Thy name shall be called no more, Jacob, but Israel.”
What is Israel? Israel is a prince, a Son of God. God changed his name. I will tell you this, God has given us a new name and that name is Prince, Son of God, Christian, and a Child of God. That’s right!
It’s not only a new name, but we are called the sons of Jacob, because like Jacob, the Lord has kept us all the days of our lives. He has kept us even in our wonderings. Oh, how that man wondered. Oh, how that man went up and down and up and down. Finally, God brought him home. God will bring you home too, if you are one of His Sons, Sons of Jacob. He said, “I am the Lord, I change not, therefore you Sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” That’s right!
Let’s look at our text again. “Fear not, be not afraid.” The Lord says to fear not, over and over again. He says, “Fear thou not, I am with thee.” He says in Isaiah 41:13, “Fear not, I’ll help thee, O Sons of Jacob.” In Isaiah 41:14 it says, “Fear not thy worm, Jacob, I’m thy Redeemer.” In our text, He says, “Fear not, O Jacob, fear not O Israel.”
Here, He gives us several reasons why we have no cause to be afraid. I want to give them to you for your confidence and for your comfort and for your assurance. Will you listen to them? Why don’t you look at the scripture there and follow me? First of all, in verse one He says, “Jacob, Sons of Jacob, Israel, don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed thee.”
Our missionary to Mexico, Brother Groover, told me an interesting story. I visit down there, just about every year and preach in some of the pueblos in the Yucatan. It is a very, very poor country. People don’t have very much. There was one little boy, with the help of his father, had made a very beautiful and elaborate kite. The wind came up strong one day. He got a big ball of string and took that beautiful kite out. He put it up in the air. He kept letting the string out and letting the string out. The kite kept getting higher and higher, farther and farther away. After a while, the string broke and the wind took his kite away.
Several days past by before He and his father were in another pueblo and in another village. They saw something that looked like a garage sale. People were selling things in little booths. This little boy saw that beautiful kite and he said to his father, “That’s my kite, somebody’s found my kite and it is for sale.”
He went to the person there, who owned the little booth where they were selling these things and he said, “That’s my kite.” The man said, “No, that’s my kite, it was lost, and I found it. If you want it, you’ll have to buy it!” The little boy looked up at his father and his father reached in his pocket and got out two or three pesos and gave it to the man.
The little boy got the kite. He clutched it in his arms. As he walked away, he looked down at the kite and said, “You are mine, you are mine, twice. I made you and I bought you.” That is what the Lord is saying to you and me, “I made you, and I bought you.”
Our Lord made us and He redeemed us with His own blood. We are doubly His. “For as much as you know you were not redeemed with corruptible things such as silver and gold from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ as a lamb without spot or blemish.” You don’t have to be afraid! God says, “I redeemed you.” That little boy won’t let that kite get away again.
I will tell you this, Christ said, “I am not going to forsake them and they are not going to leave Me. I redeemed them.”
In verse one, He says, “Fear not, I’ve called you by name.” Our Lord not only redeemed us, but He called us. He called us by His gospel. The apostle Paul was talking about the elect of God in First Thessalonians 1:4, he said, “Brethren, I know that you are God’s elect, because our gospel came not to you in Word only, it came to you in power.” It came to you in convicting, converting and life changing power. God called us by His gospel.
In Ephesians 1:13, says this, “In whom ye trusted after you heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. In whom, after you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” In Romans 1:16 it says, “The gospel is the power of God to salvation.” He called us and sent His gospel.
Then, He called us by His Spirit. “For eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath there entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for them that love Him. But, He has revealed them unto us by His Spirit. We know that the Son of God has come and given us an understanding that we may know Him that is true and that we are in Him that is true and this is the true God and this is eternal life.”
He called us by name. He not only called us by His gospel, not only by His Spirit, by His Word, but He called us by name. He said, “I know My sheep, and they know Me and I give them eternal life and they will never perish. Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father gave them to Me.”
That brings me to the next point in verse one: “Don’t be afraid, I have redeemed you, I have called you.” Look at these next three words, “you are mine.” Oh, I tell you, our Lord prayed in John 17 for His people. Have you read that prayer? It is the prayer of the great high priest for His church. There are six times in that one prayer that He uses this phrase: “Those whom that Thou hast given Me.” You check it out in John 17. The Lord Jesus is praying. He lifted His eyes and said these words to the Father, six times, “Those whom Thou hast given me.”
Look at John 17 verse 9 and listen, He prayed, “I pray for them, I pray not for the world. I pray for them which Thou hast given Me for they are Thine and all Mine are Thine and Thine are mine.” I don’t fear because I am His. That is what is being said, “Fear not, I have redeemed you, I have called you by name and you are Mine. All Thine are Mine!” He said, “I shall build My church,” (My church, My body, My people, My brethren).
Oh, if you could just read that Tenth Chapter of John and hear Him talking about those sheep. They are His. “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold. Them I must bring. They will hear My voice. They will be one fold and one shepherd, they are Mine. All that My Father giveth Me, will come to Me. Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out. I came down from heaven not to do My will, but the will of Him that sent Me. This is the will of Him that has sent Me that all of which He hath given Me, they are mine and I will lose nothing.”
Can you imagine one of His sheep perishing? Can you imagine one that He agreed to be their Surety perishing? Can you imagine one of His children perishing? Can you imagine a child of God, perishing? I wouldn’t let one of mine get away from my care, if I could prevent it. God is infinitely, eternally, more powerful, loving and gracious than I am.
“You know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more should your Father give good things to them that ask Him.” Can you imagine one of His children perishing? Can you imagine one of His sheep and part of His body? “Don’t be afraid, you are one of mine.”
Look at verse two: “Don’t be afraid, fear not, when you pass through the water, I will be with you.” You will go through the waters of trouble and you will go through the waters of sorrow, He says, “I will be with you.”
Don’t let these television con artists, hucksters and merchandisers of men, money- grubbing preachers, mislead you into thinking because you are sick that you don’t believe. They will make you think because you have troubles, you don’t have faith. They will also make you think because you have sorrow in your life, you won’t be able to live a victorious life because you don’t believe in Christ. Let me tell you something, Some of God’s choicest people have gone through the most suffering.
John Bunyan spent 12 years in prison because he refused to preach what men told him to preach. He preached the truth of the gospel. Charles Spurgeon was a man who preached the gospel for 38 years and spent much time in Mentone, France, terribly sick. The apostle Paul talked about his good friend “being sick unto death.” I’ll tell you this; Paul himself had a “thorn in the flesh.”
Preachers will say that if you are not financially wealthy, you are spiritually poor and don’t have any faith. That is a lie! I have so many friends in Mexico in those little churches that have dirt floors; they sleep in hammocks, sit on boxes, and even cook on rocks. They get up every morning not knowing what they are going to eat. God provides their small meager portions of corn and beans. They are so very, very poor. They are still choice servants of God! I have no sympathy for men who use these things to make merchandise out of men’s souls.
He said, “When you go through the waters, I will be with you. When you come to the river, it won’t overflow you; I will be with you. You will pass through on dry land and I will be with you like Israel of old. When you walk through the fire you will not be consumed, it will not kindle upon you and you will walk through the fire.”
Don’t be amazed at the fiery trials that come upon you. God sends them for your good. Faith has got to be tried. Untried faith is no faith. He knows the way I take. “After He has tried me with fire, I will come forth as gold.” Isn’t that what Job said? “Don’t be afraid.” You are going through the water, but He said, “I will be with you.” You’re going to come to the river but it won’t overflow you. If you are going to walk through the fire, it won’t consume you, because I will be with you. “Don’t be afraid.”
Then, in verse three, He says, “Don’t be afraid, I am the Lord your God. I am the Holy one of Israel, I’m your Saviour.” Did you hear what this scripture says? “I am the Lord your God and I’m your Saviour.” In other words, do you know that the Eternal God of heaven and earth is my Saviour? “Believing God with whom we have to do” at the judgment, is my Saviour? That is what Mary said, “My soul rejoices in God, my Saviour.”
Why should I fear judgment? The one before whom I will stand is my Saviour. The one before whom I’ll stand is the one who stood for me before the judgment and death. I don’t have to be afraid. My Advocate, and my Mediator is my God. The judge is my Father. The Advocate is His Son. That trial is over! “Call His name Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. He will save His people from their sin.”
Listen, to verse four: “Don’t be afraid, you’re precious in my sight.” Have you ever considered the things that they call precious in God’s Word? Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever thought what is highly valuable and precious? “He is precious.” Christ is called precious. His Word is called precious promises. The death of His saints is called precious. Faith is called precious and here you are, (right smack in the middle of it). You are precious. Isn’t that something? “Don’t be afraid, you are precious in my sight.” Not in yours, and maybe not in anybody else’s, but He said, “In My sight, you are precious.” He paid a tremendous price for you. “You are bought with a price.”
In verse four He says, “Don’t be afraid, I have loved you.” The believer doesn’t like to talk about his love for Christ because he knows that is so small. He likes to talk about Christ’s love for him.
Then, He says in closing, verse five: “Don’t be afraid, I’m with you.” Let me show you something. Isaiah said of the Lord Jesus Christ, “He was numbered with the transgressors.” Christ was with us and was identified with us. Secondly: He said, “I’m with you even to the end of the earth,” every step of the way. Then He prayed, “Father I will that those Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am.”
“Fear not: for I am with thee”