“Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; FEAR NOT, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring” ~ Isaiah 44:1-3
FEAR NOT: In Jesus We are Righteous: We are Jesurun!
In this beautiful passage of Scripture, God (through Isaiah) gives us a wonderful message of encouragement.
First, the message is addressed to “Jacob my servant” and “Israel, whom I have chosen”. In referring to The Hebrews by these two names God is sending a message. Jacob means ‘supplanter’: one who gains advantage through treachery (Merriam-Webster), or more simply, one does things his/her own way instead of God’s way. Conversely, Israel means ‘God prevails’: God wins out in the end.
Jacob used any means he could find to “get ahead”. He lived ‘by his wits’. However, at Peniel (Genesis 32:22-32), Jacob finally realized that he could not “get ahead”, he could not succeed, without God’s blessing.
Thus, when God addressed The Hebrews by both names, He was referring to two aspects of their character: they had the tendency to go their own way, but they also knew that God would prevail in the end. So too with us Believers: though we know God’s Will will be done, we often yield to the temptation of going our own way, of exercising our own wills.
NOTICE, however, that it is exactly to such a conflicted people that the message of God’s blessing comes. God promises to bless the those who are becoming ‘Israel’ but still have a lot of ‘Jacob’ in them. In other words, God blesses us, where we are! Hallelujah!
If God were to wait until all the ‘Jacob’ was gone from our character, none would be blessed; no one would survive: our lives would be miserable and meaningless. But God recognizes BOTH the Jacob in us (like him we were born that way, born grasping the heel of our brethren, trying to get ahead in our own strength) and the Israel that God Himself has imparted to us through faith when we looked to Him for His blessing of salvation. And despite our conflicted-ness God still determines to bless us! Oh what a merciful Father.
WHY? Why would God promise to bless those whom He knows still have given themselves completely to Him? Why would God bless those who still have the tendency to rely on their own strengths instead of on Him?
These questions are answered, when God (in our text above) next addresses The Hebrews. First, He called them Jacob and Israel (Isaiah 44:1). Second, He called them “Jacob, my servant” and “thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen” (Isaiah 44:1). God uses the name “Jesurun” as an endearment in Scripture and it means “upright one”.
Much of Isaiah rebukes the sins of The Hebrews and predicts the coming punishment they would receive in the future as a result. Clearly, the people were not upright. Nevertheless, God calls them that name because, uprightness (i.e., righteousness) does not come from man, righteousness comes from God. God imputes His righteousness to us, Believers, because we can never attain righteousness on our own. In short, God could call them “Jesurun”, upright ones, because He could make them so: He would impart His righteousness!
When God looks on a Believer, saved by grace, He sees His only begotten Son, Jesus. And because of Jesus, He calls out “Jesurun”: My beloved upright one!
Yes, there is still some ‘Jacob’ left in us… but that “Jacob” (self-will) is dying daily while “Israel” (God prevails) is gaining strength and the sins of that “Jacob” are covered by the Blood of Jesus!
FEAR NOT, Believer, God knows exactly “where” we are: He knows there is still some Jacob left in us. FEAR NOT, God does not reject us because we are yet imperfect.
FEAR NOT, God will bless us: He will help us, He will restore us, He will replenish us; He will lift us out of the pit; he will sustain us, BECAUSE when God looks at us He sees His Son, He sees “Jesurun”. Hallelujah!
This post is a part of a series on several of the “FEAR NOT” sayings in the Bible.