"Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." Isa. 43:1, 2.
Sweet words of comfort for the tempest-tossed and storm-driven ones among the children of men.
The words "Fear not" in the Bible are spoken for the cheer and encouragement of saints in times of special alarm and dread. Take the "Peace, be still" of the Son of God, to quiet the angry billows on the waves of Galilee, so the "Fear not" is uttered to calm the unquiet heart with its direful dread of impending woe.
These verses to which we have turned form one of the sweetest utterances of our Saviour-God to awaken restfulness of spirit amid the storm and stress of events.
He has redeemed us. He has called us. He has made us His own. Will He fail us in the hour of calamity?
The waters may have to be passed, but He will be with us then. As with Israel at the Red Sea, He will guide and guard His own.
The rivers may have to be crossed, but like His people going over Jordan when it overflowed its banks, He will make the path, so that dry-shod we may gain the further shore.
Through the fire, if needs be, we may have to walk, as the three youths in Babylon, but He who gave them His presence and His succor will be with us and glorify the furnace by His company, and cause that "the smell of fire" shall not pass on us.
"Fear not"! We hear Him say, "I am the first and the last: I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death [death and of hades]." He has been into death and come forth victorious. To us He says, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth...Lo, I am with you alway [all the days], even unto the end of the world [age]. Amen." Matt. 28:18, 20.
Let us not fear aught that is, or aught that may be. HE is, and will be, with us, come what may. "A horror of great darkness" may press upon our spirit at times and all be dark and difficult before us, but He whispers, "Certainly I will be with thee." Ex. 3:12.
"When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress."
First published as Songs for the Night Seasons by Inglis Fleming. New York: Loizeaux Bros., [n.d.].
Selections from Songs for the Night Seasons