Oct 04

Do you see?

Tag: FaithRLW3 @ 10:01 am

When we find ourselves in the midst of distressing circumstances, we are frequently tempted to question either God’s motives, His methods or His level of concern. We are prone to complain along with Israel:

Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my just claim is passed over by my God”? Isaiah 40:27 (NKJV)

Israel said this because that is the way it appeared. They were not alone in this feeling. Kind David wrestled with this too. “If God delay his assistance for a short time, we think that his care does not extend to us.”1 How frequently and how quickly my heart lapses into the same species of unbelief!

Why do you say, O Jacob,…

I can see two possible reasons that the prophet called them first by the name Jacob, the supplanter. Perhaps he sought to remind them of their natural roots. They were not God’s chosen because they had earned it or deserved it. Neither do we. Any and all manifestations of His goodness are owed to His wonderful grace.

Or, perhaps he sought to remind them that God had made a covenant with their fathers. Although they had repeatedly broken His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He would remain faithful to keep it.

We do not have any legal standing in and of ourselves to make a claim on God’s goodness. He does not “owe” us anything. God favors us because of our faith in His Son’s sacrifice.

and speak, O Israel…

After having reminded them of their natural character, the prophet reminds them of their spiritual heritage. Their father was given this name because he would not stop wrestling with God until God blessed him. Perhaps the Holy Spirit was encouraging them to continue wrestling in prayer for their deliverance.

“By these names he calls to their remembrance the Lord’s covenant, which had been ratified by promises so numerous and so diversified; as if he had said, “Dost thou not think that thou art that people which God hath chosen peculiarly for himself? Why dost thou imagine that he who cannot deceive does not attend to thy cause?”2 

Beloved, God does see. Even when we have no evidence. 

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. Hebrews 10:38 (NKJV)

  1. John Calvin’s Verse Commentary []
  2. John Calvin’s Verse Commentary []

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