BE NOT AFRAID . . . Even if you are “spineless”

But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, “You are my servant”; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Reference: Isaiah 41:8-10 )

Yes, all who are incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you insect Israel! I will help you, says the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.“ ( More Complete Reference Isaiah 41:8-14) [Reading the Anabaptist Bible uses verses 8 to 14 of Isaiah chapter 41]

When I read the entire verse, I had to wonder what was meant by calling the audience of this speech from Isaiah worms and insects. It seems sort of unusual that worms and insects would be saved. Even the historic Anabaptist believer, Little Hans of Stotzingen, used the term when he said,“Be of good courage and undaunted, thou worm Jacob.” So looked at another translation, Easy-to-Read Version , that phrased the portion of scripture this way, “People of Israel, descendants of Jacob, you may be weak and worthless.” Ah! Enlightenment. But not overly complimentary.

So, beloved, if “weak and worthless” Israel and children of Jacob who were supposedly favored by God are deemed worthy of our Mighty Lord’s attention and deliverance – how much more would we, who are courageous and strong and who follow God without question or reluctance, be cared for and strengthened by God!

Beloved, we know that we are not as stalwart in our beliefs and in our Christian lives as we should be, or could be. But there is provision and care for us. Even the best of us have our not-so-good days or times. And it is comforting to know that God will undertake for us regardless. May you beloved, at your best and at your worst, feel God’s comfort and righteous hand. Selah!