When it comes to a pinch
‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ Isaiah 41:10
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 2 Chronicles 20:1–17
This promise supposes that the people of God are subject to fears, or the admonition, Fear not, would be in vain. Their fears are many and often great, and indeed if the Lord did not interpose with his promises, would be very just likewise.
(i) For a season they are under legal fear of God (Job 23:15 [Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him]).
(ii) They are afraid of their own hearts when they look within. They are amazed, and disheartened, and ready to say, ‘Alas, this vile nature will be too hard for me at last.’
(iii) They are afraid of outward enemies: the world and Satan. Sometimes the world’s frowns make them afraid; and they no less fear its smiles—they see it has prevailed over many and they fear for themselves. They are afraid of Satan. They know he is strong, cunning, watchful. He eyes them close, assaults them often, and they escape not always without a wound.
The promise supposes that they have no ability of their own, thus they feel and readily acknowledge, as Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:12. And though they profess and desire to trust the Lord, yet when it comes to a pinch they find it not easy to keep their hold.
It supposes that those who have God on their side have no just cause for fear, be their discouragements or difficulties ever so many or great (Romans 8:31 [What shall we then say …? If God be for us, who can be against us?]).
Why should I fear the darkest hour,
Though sin would fill me with distress,
Or tremble at the tempter’s power?
The throne of grace I dare address;
JESUS vouchsafes to be my tower.
For JESUS is my righteousness.
Against me earth and hell combine; But on my side is power divine; JESUS is all, and He is mine.
SERMON: ISAIAH 41:10 [2/5]