Rev. & Mrs. Kenneth Fellenbaum

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Milford, Connecticut, United States

Bible Verse of the Day

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Passing Through Difficult Times

God’s relationship with Israel in Biblical times provides us with insight into His relationship with His people today. God is portrayed in Isaiah 43:1-3 as Creator, Redeemer and Protector. “But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.’”

God states that He created and formed Israel. God created (to make from nothing) His people through the call of Abraham and formed a nation by allowing them to experience tribulation and difficult times. Israel suffered in bondage in Egypt, wandered in the wilderness and struggled with her enemies during the occupation of the promised land. Through these hard times, God was molding a people He brought into existence. Likewise, God uses tribulation today to form and shape individuals. Life’s greatest lessons are often learned through difficult experience (see Romans 5:3-5 & I Corinthians 10:13).

Having created and formed Israel, God also claimed that He redeemed (means to buy back) them. This was necessary because mankind, being sinful, wanders from and rebels against God. He calls us, by name, back to Himself. The New Testament makes it plain that He has redeemed us through the death of His son Jesus Christ on the cross. When we accept by faith Christ’s payment for our sins and respond in obedience to His call, we experience redemption. God is then not only our Creator and Redeemer but he also becomes our Protector.

References are made in these verses to God’s acts of protection when the children of Israel passed through the water of Red Sea to escape the army of Egypt’s Pharoah. They also crossed through the Jordan River when they entered Canaan and the three Hebrew children were delivered from the fire of Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace in Babylon.

Notice that belonging to God does not preclude difficulties and suffering. What God does promise is to be with us during those times of trials. The Author of Hebrews quoted Moses’ words of comfort to Israel and its leader Joshua: “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

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