Isaiah 43:1-3 - The Verses Project

Bible Isaiah 43:1-3

Posted January 06, 2014

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

If we read just before this in Isaiah 42:18-19, we discover a problem: God’s people were deaf & blind. What hope did they have? They didn’t need a pep talk, they needed salvation! They needed someone outside themselves to come save them in their deafness and blindness. Here in Isaiah 43, God speaks to this same deaf & blind people with a series of truths and promises that give us a greater understanding of God and trust in Him.

The God Who Redeems & Calls

God speaks to Israel and calls them to remember two things he had already done: he had redeemed them and had called them. Redemption in the Old Testament involves deliverance and freedom from captivity. It most likely was pointing back to God delivering Israel from Egypt. Not only did God redeem His people, but He called them. This calling wasn’t a vague one, but rather He called them by name! They in turn were His; they had a home and a Father in God. In our fear, a crucial discipline is the discipline of remembrance. Are you fearful? Remember who God is and thing things He’s done.

The God Who Leads Through Waters, Rivers, Fire & Flame

While the last verse was directed at remembering the past, this verse contains a promise for the future for His people. The promise is not one of smooth sailing waters and deliverance out of trials, but rather of God’s faithful presence in the midst of madness. We are never promised an easy life, but are promised His presence. In his commentary on Isaiah, Ray Ortlund said, “Whatever life throws at you, including the tough love of God himself, he will go with you into it." Going through waters, rivers, fire, or flame? You are not alone. Be comforted.

The God Who Saves

How do we know that God will be with us? The next verse teaches us that God works our salvation out of who He is. Who is He? He is the Lord our God, the Holy One of Israel, our Savior. He is mighty, He is set apart, and He is Savior. Where other gods have no power to rescue, this God can not only save, but is a Savior. Not only should we remember God’s past deliverance (verse 1), His present presence (verse 2), but also His eternal character (verse 3). He is not just a Savior, but He is our Savior.

May we rejoice in these 3 truths!


Song by Drew Barefoot.
Artwork by Tim Krause.