14 This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sakes I will send an army against Babylon, forcing the Babylonians[a] to flee in those ships they are so proud of.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator and King.
16 I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea.
17 I called forth the mighty army of Egypt with all its chariots and horses. I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned, their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick.
18 “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
20 The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and owls, too, for giving them water in the desert. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed.
21 I have made Israel for myself, and they will someday honor me before the whole world.
22 “But, dear family of Jacob, you refuse to ask for my help. You have grown tired of me, O Israel!
23 You have not brought me sheep or goats for burnt offerings. You have not honored me with sacrifices, though I have not burdened and wearied you with requests for grain offerings and frankincense.
24 You have not brought me fragrant calamus or pleased me with the fat from sacrifices. Instead, you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your faults.
25 “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.
26 Let us review the situation together, and you can present your case to prove your innocence.
27 From the very beginning, your first ancestor sinned against me; all your leaders broke my laws.
28 That is why I have disgraced your priests; I have decreed complete destruction[b] for Jacob and shame for Israel.
When the river of life’s circumstances begins to rise over its banks and the fire of oppression threatens to burn me, I instinctively want to save myself from drowning and being consumed by the flames.
But my instincts lie…..for they are motived by the selfish desires within me.
Instead of choosing to bring God my burnt offerings and sacrifices I wear myself out doggy paddling in the river, clinging to every stray log that floats by to keep myself from going under. I grab my fire extinguisher and attack the flames, while simultaneously freaking out because the things I hold so dear are being destroyed!
How many times have I made God weary with all my faults, instead of trusting Him and His promises?
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia[a] and Seba in your place.
4 Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.
According to the prophet Isaiah, I need to listen to the Lord so I can know:
-God created me
-He has called me by name
-I do NOT need to be afraid!
-I am His
-I am precious to Him
-I am honored by Him
-He LOVES me!!!
And I need to trust that:
–He will be with me (in every river of difficulty and every fire of oppression)
–He will make rivers in the dry wasteland of my soul
–He will refresh me
But in order to know Him and trust Him, I must be still……& ask Him for HELP!
10 “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”