Israel’s Savior

Key Verse: “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.”
—Isaiah 43:1

Selected Scripture:
Isaiah 43:1-12

GOD CHOSE THE NATION of Israel “to be a special people unto himself” because of his love for them. (Deut. 7:6-8) He further commanded the people to keep all his commandments and statutes. If they did so, he promised to bless and provide for them.—vss. 9-24

Nevertheless, the children of Israel often disobeyed the Lord’s instructions, and were described as being “deaf” and “blind.” (Isa. 42:18-23) “They would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.” Therefore, they received chastisements from God.—vss. 24,25

However, in our Key Verse God told Israel he would not punish them forever. Concerning divine forgiveness and redemption from sin, the psalmist writes: “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” The psalmist then describes God’s mercy: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, and … hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.” God’s mercy is further described as being “from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, … To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.”—Ps. 103:2-4,8-11,17,18

In Isaiah’s prophecy, God promises he would lead Israel through both “water and fire.” (Isa. 43:2) These two natural elements are symbols of difficult and severe experiences which that nation would pass through. The Lord assured that whenever they would experience such difficulties, he would be with them, and they would not be adversely affected from an eternal standpoint.

Although Isaiah’s prophecy was addressed to the nation of Israel, it also applies to the footstep followers of our Lord Jesus during the present Gospel Age. Paul explains how all the things which happened unto Israel were “for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition,” to instruct and warn the followers of Christ.—I Cor. 10:11

Passing through the “waters” is a figurative expression to denote the experiences by which each of us must be tested and proven. Through Isaiah’s prophecy we are assured that our Heavenly Father will be guiding and directing us in all our trials, adversities, afflictions, and perplexities, giving “grace to help in time of need.”—Heb. 4:16

Walking “through the fire” is representative of the severity of some of our experiences. Peter writes, “The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.”—I Pet. 1:7; 4:12

From the divine standpoint, God is the “Savior”—the originator of the entire plan of salvation for mankind. However, he accomplishes this salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ, who died “a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”—Isa. 43:11; Rom. 5:10; I Tim. 2:3-6