God and You - Articles to uplift and encourage

by Daniel Baker

Do not be afraid - Reason 4

Daniel Baker 27 Aug 2014

The Bible makes it clear that God does not desire for us to live a life filled with fear and anxiety. In Isaiah 41 we have already seen three reasons why even though life is full of stressful and even alarming events we need not be full of fear and anxiety. These reasons are:

We have the Presence of God with us.

We have a Personal God who cares for us.

We have a God who Provides for us.

In this post look with at the fourth reason – we have a God who Protects us.

Reason #4 - Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10d

This is an incredible image with four components.

First, the action is being done by the right hand. The right hand is symbolic of power and action. This makes sense in that most people are right hand dominant and that is the stronger, more coordinated, and active hand.

Also in some cultures ancient and contemporary, the hand, especially the right hand, is a symbol of protection. One example of this is the Hamsa amulet that is viewed as protection against the “evil eye” and other ills. It is often thought the Hamsa comes from Islam, but in fact it goes back to ancient Mesopotamia. It is still common among some Muslims and Jews. (1)

This phrase reminds us that we do not rely on an amulet or talisman for protection. We have the powerful, protecting right hand of God.

Second, God’s right hand is righteous. That is God acts in ways that are just, honorable, and virtuous. So we do not have to fear God acting on our behalf.

This brings to my mind the fact that God loves us so much and that is what is behind each of these four reasons why we do not need to be fearful and anxious. John tells us about God’s love this way,

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are … In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. … God is love …” 1 John 3:1, 4:10, 16

This phrase in Isaiah 41:10 creates in my mind a picture. The image is of God’s hand palm up and we are resting safe and sound on his palm. One time I was with a couple in a hospital waiting room. Their newborn was going into open heart surgery in an attempt to correct a heart defect. If the surgery was successful, then it would have to be repeated every few years to accommodate growth. The atmosphere was very tense with concern, fear, and anxiety. I read this passage with the parents and then I asked them to firmly get this image in their minds, “That surgery table is not holding your baby up, she is resting in God’s palm. His loving, powerful, righteous right hand is holding her. We then went into a time of prayer. The mood in the room changed for the better, there was still concern but the fear and anxiety were replaced with peace. This concept can have that kind of impact and I hope it can do that for you. (The baby came through the surgery beyond everyone’s expectations. The surgery was so successful that no further surgeries were needed!)

Third, God upholds your hand Isaiah continues with this theme in verses 13-14,

“For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you. Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,’ declares the LORD, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Emphasis added)

In those verses our right hand is not powerful enough, so God comes up and holds it. Now to go on with that image, it would have to be his left hand holding our right one. Notice that leaves his right hand free to protect and help!

When I read this I picture a young child looking around anxiously at a new and strange situation. You can see the uncertainty and fear in the child’s eyes and posture. Then all of a sudden the Father or Mother quietly walks up, reaches down and takes the child’s hand in their own. The child instantly transforms, all is well now. That is the difference a parent’s presence and touch makes!

As one of God's people you can go from fear and anxiety to faith and peace even when there is no physical evidence. This is true because: You have the Presence of God with you, a Personal relationship with God, God's provision of strength and help and the Almighty God Protecting you.

That is why David could write,

“O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful And fully recompenses the proud doer. Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD. … Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you;” Psalm 31:23-24, 55:22

Music can often help when nothing else seems to. This song might just be what you need right now "Fear Not"
Lyrics: FEAR NOT: Phil Pringle

Fear not, I have redeemed you,

For I am with you. I have called you by name.

Fear not, Child, you are Mine.

For I am with you. When you walk through the waters,

Fear not, I will be there

For I am with you. And through the flame.

Says the Lord. You'll not (no way)

Be drowned!

You'll not (no way)

Be burned!

For I am with you.

[P&W# 121 / @1984 Seam of Gold]

All Scripture quotes NASB95

Notes

Hamsa

Beyond the Exotic: Women's Histories in Islamic Societies, Amira El-Azhary Sonbol (Editor), p. 355-357

Jewish magic and superstition in Israel, Anne Barker

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