#36 for Nov. 6
“But you…whom I have chosen…the offspring of Abraham, my friend,” (Isa.41:8).
After I returned to the Lord, I reread Isaiah 41:8-14 over and over. Do these verses apply to me, too? I wondered. I hoped so, but wasn’t sure. Does God also choose people who aren’t Israelites? Galatians 3:6-9 says the real children of Abraham are those who truly trust in God.
God had called Abram out of an idolatrous environment (in the east) to go to a distant country. There, God made promises to him that if he would obey and serve him, God would bless him with land, descendants, and a great name. This is called a covenant (Gen.17:1-6).
Abram believed and obeyed God, and God kept his promises. God changed his name to Abraham. His descendants, through his promised son, Isaac became known as the nation of Israel.
I wonder how the Israelites felt later, during their Babylonian exile, when they heard these words, “I have… not cast you off,” (41:9) Isaiah had predicted the exile more than a hundred years earlier. It was a result of their sin, but he predicted God’s grace to see them through it.
I, likewise, although God had lifted me up out of the ‘pit,’ was still in ‘exile’ in a sort of wilderness and needed God’s grace. Thankfully for us, the prophets did double duty—they spoke to the current generation, but also to future ones. God’s inspirations live on and on.These verses reassure me that the promises to Israelites apply to all who believe God like Abraham did. Therefore God says to me, also, “You, my servant whom I have chosen,…[whom I am bringing back]…I have chosen you and have not rejected you,” (Isa.41:8-9 NIV).
Since I’d been forgiven, I drank in this reassurance. God hasn’t rejected me! I can still be his servant—his instrument, even though I still feel like an exile.
In God’s economy, no one is blessed only for his own sake. We, like Abraham, are blessed to be a blessing. Like Isaiah, we are used as his instruments (if available to him) to present his messages to others. He’s used Isaiah to speak to my heart, and hopefully to yours. He is a creative, wonderful God! What a privilege to be one of his instruments of grace.