To Strengthen and To Help
8 “But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham my friend,
9 I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Many years ago, there has been an ill-conceived perception I had that the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, judgment and of payback. When you read the Old Testament, there is a lot of blood and wrath and punishment. In the New Testament, Jesus is sharing the gospel and offering mercy, healing the sick and caring for people. It’s as if God’s nature has changed.
However, I discovered that God is the same all of the time. Even in the book of Isaiah, God is showing his care and concern for his servants. He wants to be there for his people to strengthen and to help. God is a just God and he cannot contradict his own nature. When there is sin, there needs to be punishment. God already had a plan for reconciliation of man with Himself, but the time had not come in the Old Testament. It only happened when the fulfillment of the prophecies of old came into fruition as Jesus became flesh and went to the cross on our behalf.