Devotional Thought for Today – 06/27/2022


CONTEXT: While our text for today maybe the most know and quoted from Isaiah 41, the whole chapter is packed with riches of God’s Holy Word. Matthew Henry breaks it downs as follows: This chapter, as the former, in intended both for the conviction of idolaters and for the consolation of all God’s faithful worshippers; for the Spirit is sent, and ministers are employed by him, both to convince and to comfort. And however this might be primarily intended for the conviction of Babylonians, and the comfort of Israelites, or for the conviction of those in Israel that were addicted to idolatry, as multitudes were, and the comfort of those that kept their integrity, doubtless it was intended both for admonition and encouragement to us, admonition to keep ourselves from idols and encouragement to trust in God. Here, I. God by the prophet shows the folly of those that worshipped idols, especially that thought their idols able to contest with him and control him (v. 1-9). II. He encourages his faithful ones to trust in him, with an assurance that he would take their part against their enemies, make them victorious over them, and bring about a happy change of their affairs (v. 10-20). III. He challenges the idols, that were rivals with him for men’s adoration, to vie with him either for knowledge or power, either to show things to come or to do good or evil (v. 21-29). So that the chapter may be summed up in those words of Elijah, “If Jehovah be God, then follow him; but, if Baal be God, then follow him;” and in the people’s acknowledgment, upon the issue of the trial, “Jehovah he is the God, Jehovah he is the God.”

Note above that MH subdivides the chapter into three main sections, verses (1-9), (10-20), and (21-29). Some modern translations have headings along these lines most have a break only at the last.

I find it helpful to read v.1-9 and focus on that content, which to me is simple, I am God, sovereign over all, and these Idols are folly. Yet note also what God does not say in these opening verses, nowhere does God say we will not contend with idolatry or the ungodly trying to rise up against us.

Having established that premise, our text for today (and the follow on v.11-20) are made clear. Here from the (AMP) ‘Do not fear [anything] {especially those idolatrous heathen that would attack us for our faith}, for I {God} am with you; Do not be afraid {of those who are not sovereign over all creation}, for I am your God {Do you TRULY Believe?}. I will strengthen you {Not in our own strength can we be overcomers}, be assured I will help you {God says it He will do it for He can not lie}; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation] {GLORY!}.’

John Gill comments on this verse as follows:

Fear thou not, for I am with thee,…. Not merely by his essence or power, who is every where; or by his providence supporting, preserving, observing, ordering, and overruling all things; but in a way of special grace, to guard and protect his people, support and supply them, comfort and strengthen their hearts; wherefore they need not fear any of their enemies, nor whatsoever they may be called to suffer for his name’s sake, even though they pass through fire and water, and the valley of the shadow of death:

be not dismayed, I am thy God; through Christ, in a covenant way, as appeared by the effectual calling of them; and therefore might depend on his love, be sure of his power, expect all needful supplies, and to be comfortably carried through every service and trial they were called unto; and need fear no enemies, or be dismayed at anything that should befall them; or become weak as water, and their hearts melt like wax within them, as the Jewish commentators generally interpret the word (n). The Targum is,

“be not broken;”

in spirit. The word signifies to look about, as persons in distress, and amazed:

I will strengthen thee; with strength in their souls, to perform duties, exercise grace, withstand corruptions, resist temptations, bear afflictions, suffer persecutions, and do their generation work, according to the will of God; and if God is the strength of his people, they need not be afraid of any persons or things, Psalm 27:1,

yea, I will help thee; help them out of all their afflictions and temptations, and out of the hands of all their enemies; help them in the discharge of duty, in the exercise of grace, in bearing the cross, in fighting the Lord’s battles, and in their journey to another world; help them to every mercy, temporal and spiritual, to all needful supplies of grace, and at last to glory; whose help is suitable and seasonable, and may be expected, since he is able to help, either with or without means; has promised to help his people, as here, and he is faithful that has promised; he has laid help on one that is mighty, and set up a throne of grace to come to for help in time of need; and seeing he is their helper, they need not fear what men or devils can do unto them, Hebrews 13:5.

I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness; either by his almighty power, or by his Son, the man of his right hand, made strong for himself, and the author of righteousness to his people: this is expressive of his sustentation of them, not merely in a providential way, but in a way of special grace; and of his powerful protection and preservation of them, so as that they shall stand in the grace of God, go on in his ways, and not fall finally and totally, but persevere to the end, though their trials and temptations may be great and many…

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