Do Not Fear, For I Am With You
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

By Jon W. Quinn
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we, the church of Christ, are sometimes referred to in the New Testament as "spiritual Israel" or something similar to that. The intent is that we are meant to consider the parallels between God's promises and care of old Israel and ourselves (Romans 2:28,29; Galatians 6:16; 3:29; Hebrews 12:22,23).

We see both Israels, the old physical nation as well as the spiritual nation, the church, being set free from bondage - one from Egypt and the other from sin. Both are led through a wilderness and sustained by God. Both are warned to be faithful to receive the inheritance promised them; Canaan for one and heaven for the other. We see Jesus fulfill the role of Lawgiver to spiritual Israel; the same role as Moses filled to old Israel. He also fulfills the role of King as did David. And as High Priest as did Aaron.

With this in mind, consider with me a passage of assurance spoken to old Israel written by the prophet. The assurance is not just for them, but for us as well, for we, too, are children of Abraham by faith.

Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.' (Isaiah 41:10)

This promise is a firm foundation upon which to build one's life! How firm a foundation! Did you notice? Consider the 2nd verse of the hymn "How Firm a Foundation" (page 296 Hymns For Worship).

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed
For I am Thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my gracious, omnipotent hand.

Do Not Be Afraid, For I Am Your God
The nation would not be destroyed, for God had promised Abraham that the Redeemer to come for the salvation of all the world would come through these very people (Isaiah 41:8-9).

As His servant and child of God, He will not permit evil to block my way with impossibilities. There will never be a time when a faithful follower of Jesus will find it impossible to see victory! (Romans 8:31-34).

It is not that I will not have to face trials, but that I won't have to face them alone (Hebrews 13:5b). In fact, it is because of troublesome times that this promise is so important! God’s people are not forsaken and never alone even in the darkest valley (Psalm 23:4)

I Will Strengthen You
There are many benefits gained through receiving strength from God (Colossians 1:11,12). Some of them are:
1. Steadfastness - to enable. God is our enabler. He equips us to win.
2. Patience - a cheerful and hopeful continuance; constant; enduring.
3. Joy - a calm delight.
4. Thankfulness - to recognize that I have been well favored and be appreciative.
5. Inheritance - described elsewhere as "eternal in the heavens" and "imperishable" and "undefiled". Nothing else adequately compares to this promise! A spiritual Canaan flowing with the milk and honey of God's presence and glory. Note too that we have been qualified by the Father to do this. He is responsible for all this good! Let us live with the goal of pleasing the Lord in all things (Colossians 1:10) .

I Will Help You
How great my need for help! Because of my sin.
“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Romans 5:10-11).

Also, because of life's distresses.
“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)… I'd rather live a life of troubles with God than a life of pleasure without Him, chiefly because life does not last so long, but eternity does. And if and when evil is directed against me by others, it is good to know that the Eternal One is with me (Hebrews 13:6).

I Will Uphold You
I know He can uphold me. No matter how difficult the tribulation. I know this because He, Himself has endured such great difficulties and overcame.
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
(John 16:33). When I place my confidence in Jesus, I am placing it in Someone who has been tested to the extreme of extremes, and overcame! Never forget that!

This assurance relates to me, my wellbeing, my attitudes, and my eternity (1 John 5:4,5). Jesus is the author and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:2,3). He is worthy of all my trust!

Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.' (Isaiah 41:10)

Note finally that the power that makes me stand is in the "righteous right hand" of God. The right hand is usually the strongest, so what would God's right hand metaphorically suggest? I believe it suggests that God will hold nothing back in saving me forever if I will genuinely and actively place my faith in Him.
"And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.” (Hebrews 5:9).

Occasionally we sing a spiritual song titled "I Know My Redeemer Lives". It is 4 verses long and speaks of the various blessings we find in our Redeemer both present and future. For example: "I know eternal life He gives, from sin and sorrow free." Interestingly, the song itself never identifies the Redeemer by name, but He is not hard to identify. "I know that He will come again, to take me home on high".

Question: So, here is a question for you to ponder.
The statement "I know that my redeemer lives" is actually a quote of a Biblical figure. Who? Who affirmed that he or she had a living Redeemer? Do you know?

Hints: Though the statement clearly refers to Christ, it is originally made by one who lived many, many centuries before the birth of Christ. It is made in the midst of almost unequalled suffering and despair as the last and final hope that somewhere, somehow there would be redemption and vindication by the power of a living Redeemer.

Answer: It is Job, who not only affirms belief in a living Redeemer but also that He will in the future personally come to earth to take His stand. Consider the context:

23 "Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
24 "That with an iron stylus and lead
They were engraved in the rock forever!
25 "As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
26 "Even after my skin is destroyed,
Yet from my flesh I shall see God;
27 Whom I myself shall behold,
And whom my eyes will see and not another.
My heart faints within me!
(Job 19:23-27).

These words of Job have been an encouragement to many who have faced some trials similar to those faced by Job. In the midst the gloom and darkness and seeming hopelessness, is found the ember of hope; a hope based on the promises of God. It is this confidence that becomes the source of much strength and by which many have overcome. Consider: Our living Redeemer; Jesus Christ.

The Need For A Redeemer
A Redeemer is one who "buys back" or "pays a ransom" for one who has fallen into the hands of an enemy. In human history, captured soldiers, leaders, even princes and kings have been ransomed.

If the ransom price is not paid, either through a lack of will, or a lack of funds, then it usually goes very bad for the prisoners. So, the term "ransom" refers to the price paid for the release of the captives. This helps us to understand the role of Jesus (Matthew 20:28).

Originally, creation was in the proper hands, but because of sin, the world has fallen into the hands of a Captor. This has been done willingly on the part of those now "held captive" having accepted the deceitful promises the Devil and having rebelled against the King. Even today, so many captives still believe the false promises made , and live their lives accordingly (Romans 5:12; 6:20).

But the outcome for the captives is eternally ruinous and devastating (Romans 6:23). More bad news: the demanded ransom is impossible for any of us to pay… ever. Do we have a Redeemer that will pay the ransom for us and deliver us from eternal ruin? Yes, "I Know My Redeemer Lives!"

"My Redeemer Shall Stand Upon the Earth"
Job said not only that he had a living Redeemer, but also that this Redeemer would, in the future, take His stand upon the earth! (Job 19:25). The ransom demanded, and justly so since our sin is tied to our rebellion against God, is a perfect, sinless offering. Gold and silver will not do it, nor will a less than perfectly pure, untainted sacrifice (1 Peter 1:18,19).

There was simply no one else who could pay this ransom. It had to be Jesus (Isaiah 53:4-6; 59:16; 20). Only He fit the need (Hebrews 2:10). And thus, because He once took His stand upon the earth, we, through Him, find freedom from the slavery that would have one day earned for us complete and final eternal ruin. (Hebrews 2:14-15; 17).

The Redeemer and the Resurrection
The price of redemption has now been paid by Jesus through the shedding of His blood (Colossians 1:13,14). This price has been accepted by many. It is by faith that we accept the price paid (Galatians 3:13-14; 26-29).

But there is also a future, yet to be realized redemption that will take place when Jesus comes again and we shall be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:17-19; 21; 23). We now look forward to an eternal inheritance as opposed to eternal ruin. “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation -- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13, 14).

Job said,
"I Know my Redeemer lives!" Even in the darkest of days he faced, when he had nothing else in which to hope, he still had that. So can we. "Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25). We are truly loved and blessed by our Redeemer! He “took His stand upon the earth” and paid the ransom so that we might, by faith, escape the bondage of sin and the terrible future it holds. In exchange, by the grace of God we receive the wonderful prospect of eternal victory and unequalled glory. It is a hope to live for. It is a hope to die for. It is a hope to live again for.

From The Bradley Banner 12/11/2011
Published by the Bradley Church of Christ
1505 E. Broadway
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