God Will Help His People


 

The following article is an excerpt from "A Book of Bible Study"

by Joseph F. Harwood.

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In Romans 15:4 Paul taught us that everything written in the Scriptures was written to encourage us, so that we might have hope. Every promise of God’s help for His people as recorded in the Bible was written for the benefit of all of His people, for all of us who by faith in Christ have become numbered among spiritual Israel.

 

 

God’s Promise Given in Isaiah 41

 

In the book of Isaiah, we find one of God’s many promises to help and sustain His people. This passage begins:

 

“But you, Israel, My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
Descendant of Abraham My friend,
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its remotest parts
And said to you, ‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
‘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.’

 

“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand,
Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’
“Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel;
I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

(Isaiah 41:8-10, 13-14)

 

In the Book of Acts, we read that Paul and Barnabas strengthened and encouraged the disciples to remain true to the faith, teaching them that we must go through many troubles to enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). At times, as we face the trials and hardships of this life, and we consider our own strength and resources to cope with them, we may feel as powerless as the “worm” that God used to describe Jacob. God’s promises of help for His people like this one in the book of Isaiah are recorded for our benefit as spiritual Israel, as descendants of faithful Abraham (Romans 9:8), for the times when we face the trials that we will endure according to the sovereign plan and purpose of God for our lives.

 

When faced with these trials, knowing our own weaknesses and inadequacies, our first reaction is likely to be one of fear. In such times let us remember the promise of our God who says to us:

 

“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, emphasis added).

 

Continuing in the following verses God tells us yet again not to fear, and again He promises us His help when He says:

 

“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand,
Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’
“Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel;
I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:13-14, emphasis added).

 

Notice that to emphasize the certainty of His promise; God said three times in these three verses from Isaiah 41 that indeed He will help His people.

 

In the book of Revelation, John recounted his vision of the risen Christ with these words: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.” (Revelation 19:11-13, emphasis added).

 

The word of God as recorded in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Holy Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to His people. Every teaching, every admonition, every exhortation, and every promise recorded in the word of God is given to us through Him who is called “Faithful and True”.

 

Therefore when God gives His promise to help His people, we can be assured that we will receive His help in our time of need. God’s promise to help the “worm Jacob” is ours as believers, as spiritual Israel, and on the authority of the word of God we can be assured that He will indeed help us, strengthen us and uphold us during our times of trouble, just as He said that He would.

 

Continuing further in Isaiah 41 we read:

 

“The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none,
And their tongue is parched with thirst;
I, the Lord, will answer them Myself,
As the God of Israel I will not forsake them.
“I will open rivers on the bare heights
And springs in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water
And the dry land fountains of water.
“I will put the cedar in the wilderness,
The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree;
I will place the juniper in the desert
Together with the box tree and the cypress,
That they may see and recognize,
And consider and gain insight as well,
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
And the Holy One of Israel has created it.
(Isaiah 41:17-20)

 

Speaking through the prophet in these verses, God said that He will answer His people and help them, and that He will not forsake them. God said four times in this passage, I will, in order to emphasize the certainty of His promise to provide for His people in their time of need.

 

When we are faced with our times of trouble, we are exhorted not to be afraid, because we have God’s promise that He will strengthen us and help us, and He will uphold us with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10, 13-14). Within these passages of Isaiah 41, we find that we have God’s promise of His help and His provision for our lives, and we can therefore be assured that as we walk through the desert “wilderness” of our own trials and difficulties, we will be sustained by the mercy, grace and provision of God.

 

As impossible as it is in the natural world to open rivers on barren heights, and to cause lush trees to grow in a desert wilderness, we know that with our God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37). And we have His faithful and true promise that He will indeed help us in our times of trouble.

 

 

God’s Promise Given in Ezekiel 37

 

In Ezekiel 37, we find another of God’s many promises to help His people. In this passage the prophet recounts his experience in the Valley of the Dry Bones. Ezekiel was brought by the Spirit of the Lord into a valley where there were many bones scattered over the ground. The Lord led him back and forth among the bones, and then He asked him if the dry bones could live again. Ezekiel replied to the Lord that He alone knew whether the dry bones of these slain could be brought back to life again.

 

Then the Lord commanded Ezekiel to prophesy His words to the dry bones, saying that He would attach tendons to them and put flesh upon them, cover them with skin, and put breath into them so that they would come to life. Ezekiel prophesied as he was commanded, and he heard a rattling sound as the bones came together, bone to bone. Then tendons and flesh appeared on the bones, and skin covered them also, but there was no breath of life in them.

 

At this point the Lord again told Ezekiel to prophesy, telling him to command breath to come from the four winds and breathe into them so they would live again. The prophet did as he was commanded, and breath entered the bodies, and they stood up on their feet (Ezekiel 37:3-10).

 

The men of this vast army had been dead for a long time, with only their bones remaining scattered over the ground. All hope they had for this life had long since perished. Only the power of our sovereign and omnipotent God could bring life back to them again. And at the command of the Lord, He who calls those who are dead to life as only He can do, that is exactly what happened.

 

After Ezekiel had witnessed this demonstration of God’s power in restoring life to these many slain, the Lord applied what the prophet had just seen to the situation of His people Israel and the feelings of hopelessness they were experiencing while in exile, as the passage continues:

 

Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people.  I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord.’” (Ezekiel 37:11-14).

 

Even when our situation appears to be hopeless, and we feel that “our bones are dried up and our hope has perished” and we are “cut off” from any hope of deliverance, our God will bring life and good from the “death” that our troubles have wrought in our lives, just as Jesus taught us in John 12:24-26. And what God has spoken through His word, that will He do. Every promise that God has spoken through His word has the same certainty of fulfillment as His command to the dry bones to live again.

 

God said in Isaiah 41:8-10, 13-14, 17-20, and also in Ezekiel 37:1-14 not that He might help His people, but He said repeatedly that He will help His people. God, who is able even to raise the dead, will deliver us in our times of trouble, in His time and according to His plan for our lives.

 

The time is coming for us when He will “open our graves” and bring us up from the seeming hopelessness of the overwhelming burden that we are facing. And then we will know that He is the Lord; not if, but when He opens our graves, brings us up from them, and restores life and hope to us in the midst of our own troubling circumstances, which may seem to us to be as hopeless and impossible as the dry bones of the long dead coming back to life again (Ezekiel 37:13).

 

 

Cast Your Cares upon the Lord

 

There will be things that happen in our lives that we cannot face in our own strength, because our own strength is wholly inadequate for such overwhelming circumstances. In these times we are instructed to cast all of our cares upon the Lord, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

 

We are to set our hope of deliverance upon the Lord our God, and we are not to rely upon ourselves, or our own strengths and resources. We are to anchor our hearts on the steadfast certainty of every promise for believers as set forth in God’s word. Just as God delivered Paul from trouble that was far beyond his ability to endure (2 Corinthians 1:8-11), so we also are to look to God for His help and His deliverance from the overwhelming troubles that we are facing.

 

When we read accounts of God’s deliverance of His people as recorded in the Scriptures, let us once again recall what Paul taught in the book of Romans: “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4). All of these accounts of God’s deliverance in the Scriptures are recorded for the benefit and encouragement of all of us as God’s people.

 

Our Sovereign God’s deliverance for our situation, as hopeless as it appears and as far beyond our ability to endure as it may be, is surely coming for us. And while we are in the midst of these troubles, we have His promises given to us through His word, where He has assured us that He will help us, strengthen us and sustain us.

 

 

Take Courage!

 

In Matthew 14 we read of the time when Peter left the safety of the boat to come to Jesus on the water. After Jesus had fed the five thousand, He sent the disciples ahead of Him by boat to cross over to the other side. Jesus then dismissed the crowds, and He was still there on land when evening came.

 

By this time the disciples were already some distance away from land. Jesus later came to them walking on the water during the fourth watch of the night, or sometime between three and six in the morning. When the disciples saw Him approaching the boat, they were afraid, thinking that they were seeing a ghost. At this point Jesus called out to them saying: “…Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27).

 

Peter then replied to Jesus, saying that if it really was Him, then let Him command him to come to Him on the water. Jesus then told Peter to come to Him, and Peter got out of the boat and walked toward Jesus on the water. But when he saw the wind and the waves around him, he became afraid and began to sink, and he cried out to Jesus to save him. Jesus then immediately reached out His hand and caught Peter before he went under the waves and perished, and He said to him: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31).

 

When they got back into the boat, the winds and waves subsided. Having witnessed these events, those who were in the boat worshipped Jesus and acknowledged that indeed He was the Son of God.

 

During the storms of our lives when the winds of adversity buffet us and we become afraid, Jesus calls to us saying: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Therefore let us take courage, and let us not doubt when God’s word tells us that everything He allows to touch our lives is working together for our eternal good and glory (Romans 8:28).

 

Whether our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ reaches out His hand to sustain us through our present troubles in life, or whether He reaches out His hand to take us home to glory, deliverance for all who believe on His name is assured. David encouraged us when he wrote:

 

To You they cried out and were delivered;
In You they trusted and were not disappointed. (Psalm 22:5)           

 

 

 



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