God Says I Will Continue With You In The Difficult Places

Title: God Says I Will Continue With You In The Difficult Places

Bible Book: Isaiah 43 : 1-4

Author: David E. Owen

Subject: Difficulty; Hardships; God's Presence



In an introductory way, let’s think about “The Outstanding Facts About This Prophet”:

Irving L. Jensen said that “very little is known of Isaiah’s personal history. Emphasis in the Bible is given to the message rather than to the man.” However, let’s mention just a few facts about the man.

J. Sidlow Baxter said…

What Beethoven is in the realm of music, what Shakespeare is in the realm of literature, what Spurgeon was among the Victorian preachers, that is Isaiah among the prophets.

Alexander Whyte said that “Saint Jerome called Isaiah the evangelical prophet.” And this is very appropriate for Isaiah is unique among the Old Testament prophets for his message of grace. The very name “Isaiah” means “the salvation of Jehovah,” and the word salvation is repeated 28 times in the book.

As Halley’s Bible Handbook reveals…

Rabbinic tradition has it that Isaiah’s father, Amoz (not Amos the prophet), was a brother of king Amaziah. This would make Isaiah first cousin to king Uzziah, and grandson of king Joash, and thus of royal blood, a man of the palace.

Warren Wiersbe states…

He was married (8:3) and the father of at least two sons. … The symbolical names of his two sons (7:3 and 8:1-3) illustrate the two main messages of Isaiah’s book. Shear-jashub means “a remnant shall return” and ties in with the second half of the prophecy, the return of the remnant from Babylon. Maher-shalal-hash-baz means “speed to the spoil, haste to the prey” and ties in with chapters 1-39, the defeat of Assyria.

He began his ministry near the close of the reign of King Uzziah, about 758 B.C, and preached until the turn of the century. Tradition tells us he was sawn asunder by wicked King Manasseh (and Hebrews 11:37 is thought to refer to Isaiah’s death in this fashion).

In an introductory way, let’s also think about “The Outstanding Features Of This Prophetical Book”:

The Old Testament begins with a section of seventeen books, which are predominantly Historical in nature. Then follows the five poetical books, which are Experiential in nature. Finally, the Old Testament closes with a section of seventeen books, which are Prophetical in nature. Isaiah begins this section.

Wiersbe notes that…

The Book of Isaiah can be called “a Bible in miniature.” There are sixty-six chapters in Isaiah and sixty-six books in the Bible. The thirty-nine chapters of the first part of Isaiah may be compared to the Old Testament with its thirty-nine books, and both focus primarily on God’s judgment of sin. The twenty-seven chapters of the second part may be seen to parallel the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, and both emphasize the grace of God. … The Jewish rabbis call Isaiah 40-66 “The Book of Consolation,” and their description is accurate. Addressed originally to the discouraged Jewish exiles returning to an impoverished land and a ruined temple, these chapters have brought comfort and hope to God’s people in every age and in every kind of difficult situation.

Charles Simeon wrote…

Few have any conception how close the analogy is between God’s dealings with his people of old, and his conduct towards his Church and people in the present day.

Even so in Isaiah, for his messages apply primarily to Israel, however the theme of the second part of the book, according to Edward J. Young, “is the Church Of God in its relations with God and man, and in its purpose, progress, (and) design.”

In an introductory way, let’s think finally about “The Outstanding Facets Of This Passage”:

In Isaiah 42:21-25, we see “The Government Of God In His Retribution”

Because of Israel’s sin God would allow two things to happen to them as seen in verse 22…

1. They Would Be “Spoiled” - robbed & ravaged

2. They Would Be “Snared” - as prisoners & as prey

When we come to Isaiah 43:1, the tone changes as it says…

(Isaiah 43:1) But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

The Barnes’ Notes commentary says of this transitional phrase “but now” at the beginning of Isaiah 43:1…

This expression shows that this chapter is connected with the preceding. The sense is, ‘Though God has punished the nation, and showed them His displeasure (Isaiah 42:24-25), yet now He will have mercy, and will deliver them.’

James used a phrase in James 2:13 that I think applies to the transition of tone and thought here. He said, “mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”

And instead of “The Government Of God In His Retribution,” we now see in Isaiah 43…

“The Grace Of God In His Redemption”

We are told that…

The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.

(Isaiah 42:21)

But as chapter 43 begins, He is just as pleased for mercy’s sake. And He will magnify the love and make it hopeful!

Though it seems sometimes like we are so far away from God, He has not given up on His people. He declares His resolution in Isaiah 43:2 when He says, “I will be with thee!”

In this wonderful message of consolation, let’s…

I. Notice God’s Redemption In This Passage

A. God Is The One Who Has Created Us

(Isaiah 43:1) But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

1. We See The Panoramic Fashioning Of Creation And The Carnal Man (Jacob)

the LORD that created thee, O Jacob

LORD – Hebrew 3068. Yehovah, yeh-ho-vaw'; from H1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jeho-vah, Jewish national name of God:--Jehovah, the Lord.

created – Hebrew 1254. bara', baw-raw'; a prim. root; (absol.) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes):--choose, create (creator), cut down, dispatch, do, make (fat).

‎The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon says that this Hebrew word translated “created” (OT:1254 – bora kaa) has the idea of “fashioning by cutting.” It means to “shape out, or create,” and it is always used in reference to divine activity.

Illustration: My dad had a wood lathe that he used when I was growing up. He would take a rough, ugly block of wood and turn it skillfully, cutting away here and there until he made something that suited his purpose. That is the idea presented in this word created. As the earth started turning on its axis, God began to form humanity.

Joseph Parker said…

In reviewing Providence, men do not go far enough back. The Lord Himself always takes a great sweep of time. Here is an instance in point. “But now, thus saith the Lord that created thee … and He that formed thee.” No argument is built upon what happened an hour ago. Thus God will have us go back to creation day, to formation time … and He would bid us watch the mystery of time, until it comes out in blossoming and fruitfulness and benediction. (From The Biblical Illustrator)

In relation to the original creation, God highlights the name Jacob, which means “supplanter, the heel-catcher, or the one who undermines.” And that’s who Jacob was, from the moment that he reached out of the womb and grabbed Esau’s heel to the times that he acted deceptively to acquire Esau’s blessing and birthright. He reminds us of the carnal man that is typical of the created human family.

2. We See The Particular Forming Of Clay And The Changed Man (Israel)

and he that formed thee, O Israel

formed – Hebrew 3335. yatsar, yaw-tsar'; prob. identical with H3334 (through the squeezing into shape); ([comp. H3331]), to mould into a form; especially as a potter forms a vessel from the clay; fig. to determine (i.e. form a resolution):-- X earthen, fashion, form, frame, make (-r), potter, purpose.

This word is used a few other times in this chapter to refer to God’s special relationship with His people, and with Israel in particular…

(Isaiah 43:7) Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

(Isaiah 43:21) This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.

Nelson’s Bible Dictionary reminds us that Israel was…

The name given to Jacob after his great struggle with God at Peniel near the brook Jabbok (Genesis 32:28; 35:10). The name Israel has been interpreted by different scholars as “prince with God.”

The use of this name magnifies the change that took place in Jacob’s life as he enters into the covenant relationship with Jehovah God.

B. God Is The One Who Has Comforted Us

(Isaiah 43:1) But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

1. Let’s Consider How This “Fear” Is Defined

fear – Hebrew 3372. yare', yaw-ray'; a prim. root; to fear; mor. to revere; caus. to frighten:--affright, be (make) afraid, dread (-ful), (put in) fear (-ful, -fully, -ing). (be had in) reverence (-end), X see, terrible (act, -ness, thing).

The word may refer to a sense of reverence and awe especially in the worship of God, but that is not the meaning in this context. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says that this word “fear” (OT:4172 – tiyraa’), especially the way that is used here in this verse, would indicate “the emotion of fear,” or “the intellectual anticipation of evil without emphasis upon the emotional reaction.” So, it may suggest an emotional terror or an intellectual dread. In either case, God said that it should not be a factor either in our hearts or our minds because He has redeemed us.

2. Let’s Consider How This “Fear” Is Defeated

The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says that “This particle expresses the negative as either a wish or a preference.” Thus it expresses here that it is God’s wish and preference that His people not be afraid.

The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon says that the word “not” (OT:408 – ‘al) is an “‎adverb of negation … expressing therefore a deprecation (or perhaps depreciation or diminishing) or prohibition (a prevention or elimination of it altogether).”

Listen to the similar words that Jesus spoke in John 14…

(John 14:1) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

(John 14:27) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

This special little word “not” negates fear; it cancels it and reverses it and excludes it. It defeats the fear factor!

C. God Is The One Who Has Claimed Us

(Isaiah 43:1) But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

1. There Is A Redemptive Claim That Has Made Us Free

redeemed – Hebrew 1350. ga'al, gaw-al'; a prim. root, to redeem (according to the Oriental law of kinship), i.e. to be the next of kin (and as such to buy back a relative's property, marry his widow, etc.):-- X in any wise, X at all, avenger, deliver, (do, perform the part of near, next) kinsfolk (-man), purchase, ransom, redeem (-er).

The Keil and Delitzsch Commentary says…

The punishment has now lasted quite long enough; and, as w­ataah (the phrase “but now”) affirms, the love which has hitherto retreated behind the wrath returns to its own prerogatives again. He who created and formed Israel, by giving Abraham the son of the promise, and caused the seventy of Jacob’s family to grow up into a nation in Egypt, He also will shelter and preserve it. He bids it be of good cheer; for their early history is a pledge of this. (When He says, “I have redeemed thee, I have called thee,” it stands out) as retrospective glances … pointing back to Israel’s redemption out of Egypt.

So we have journeyed back to Genesis to see the creation, and now we enter Exodus to see the redemption from captivity.

Barnes’ Notes says…

The word ‎gaa’al ‎means properly “to redeem”; to ransom by means of a price, or a valuable consideration, as of captives taken in war; or to redeem a farm that was sold, by paying back the price. It is sometimes used, however, to denote deliverance from danger or bondage without specifying any price that was paid as a ransom. Thus the deliverance of the Jews from Egyptian bondage is sometimes spoken of as a redemption.

But the concept is exemplified in the most poignant way in Ruth 4 when Boaz (perhaps a type of grace) steps up and challenges the claim of the nearer kinsman (perhaps a type of the law). The nearer kinsman ultimately says that he is not able to make the sacrifice necessary to redeem Ruth, so he pulls his shoe off and concedes to Boaz’ claim and willingness and ability to redeem.

2. There Is A Relational Claim That Has Made Us Family

I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine

Barnes’ Notes says…

‘To call by name’ denotes intimacy of friendship. Here it means that God had particularly designated them to be his people. His call had not been general, addressed to the nations at large, but had been addressed to them in particular.

A. J. Lyman indicated that we have been “Named and Claimed.” He said of the statement, “I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine”…

How this sentence tingles with personality! … Would it be an untrue fancy to suppose that we each have a name before God? When you look at your little sleeping child tonight, you will, perhaps, not only think of the name that everybody knows him by, but you will murmur over him some little special name that you have given him. … Remember that something just like that is in the heart of your God’s feeling for you. … Then, with this loving name, comes possession. There is a strange, yearning intensity in that language, “Thou art Mine.” The mystery and rapture of life are in that strange sense of possession which comes through love, as though the loved one had become a part of ourselves to be dissevered from us nevermore. (From The Biblical Illustrator)

There is something special about God calling our name. When Jesus spoke the name of Mary in John 20, it brought an instant recognition and awareness of who He was…

(John 20:16) Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

Illustration: Elvina Mable Hall wrote the words to the song “Jesus Paid It All” in 1865, and her words were later joined to a piece of music written by a fellow church member of hers named John T. Grape. I don’t know anything about the history behind the song, but I did read a story that Ira Sankey shared about the song…

On New Year’s night, 1886, some missionaries were holding open-air services in order to attract passers­-by to a near-by mission, where meetings were to be held later. “All to Christ I owe” was sung, and after a gentleman had given a short address he hastened away to the mission. He soon heard footsteps close behind him and a young woman caught up with him and said: “I heard you addressing the open-air meeting just now; do you think, sir, that Jesus could save a sinner like me?”

The gentleman replied that there was no doubt about that, if she was anxious to be saved. She told him that she was a servant girl, and had left her place that morning after a disagreement with her mistress. As she had been wandering about the streets in the dark, wondering where she was to spend the night, the sweet melodies of this hymn had attracted her, and she drew near and listened attentively. As the different verses were being sung, she felt that the words surely had something to do with her. Through the whole service she seemed to hear what met her oppressed soul’s need at that moment. God’s Spirit had showed her what a poor, sinful and wretched creature she was, and had led her to ask what she must do. On hearing her experience, the gentleman took her back to the mission and left her with the ladies in charge. The young, wayward woman was brought to Christ that night. A situation was secured for her in a minister’s family. There she became ill and had to be taken to a hospital. She rapidly failed and it became evident that she would not be long on earth. One day the gentleman whom she had met on New Year’s night was visiting her in the ward. After quoting a few suitable verses of Scripture, he repeated her favorite hymn, “All to Christ I owe”…and she seemed overwhelmed with the thought of coming to glory… Two hours afterward she passed away. (From the Cyber-hymnal website)

The song says…

I hear the Savior say, “Thy strength indeed is small;

Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.”

Like Israel, and like the poor servant girl, He has redeemed us! And as the chorus says…

Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

II. Notice God’s Resolution In This Passage

(Isaiah 43:2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

A. His Resolution Involves His Presence In The Time Of Flood

Barnes’ Notes says of the phrase “when thou passest through the waters” that…

This is a general promise, and means that whenever and wherever they should pass through water or fire, he would protect them. It had been true in their past history as a people; and the assurance is here given in order that they might be comforted in view of the calamities which they were then suffering in Babylon. Fire and water are often used in the Scriptures to denote calamity-the latter because it overwhelms; the former because it consumes; see Psalm 69:1 - ‘The waters are come into my soul;’ also Psalm 73:10; 124:4-5; 66:12 - ‘We went through fire and through water.’

1. There Is Hope In The Fact Of Our Crossing

When thou passest through – Hebrew 5674. 'abar, aw-bar'; a prim. root; to cross over; used very widely of any transition (lit. or fig.; trans., intrans. intens. or causat.); spec. to cover (in copulation).

Somebody said they liked in the Bible where it said, “It came to pass,” because it means it didn’t come to stay.

In Exodus 14, the Israelites felt sure they would die on the shore of the Red Sea. But God allowed them to cross over.

2. There Is Hope In The Fellowship Of Our Companion

I will be with thee

This phrase “with thee” has the idea of nearness and companionship.

The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says of this phrase “with thee” (OT:854 – ‘it-kaa)…

This is (a) in the promises of God to man: “I am/will be with you”; (b) affirmations from man that God is indeed with them; (c) prayers of petition that God may be with them. The scripture then is replete with the idea that God calls his people to fellowship with himself, be it in the garden of Eden, in the odyssey of an Abraham, in a covenant situation at Sinai, in the tabernacle, in a wilderness, crossing a Jordan, entering a Canaan, and so forth. At this point we should observe that the NT is no different. It is Mark (Mark 3:13-15) who tells us that Jesus’ primary reason for calling the twelve was “that they might be with him.” The call to fellowship always precedes the call to service.

His presence assures us that we will not be drowned.

overflow – Hebrew 7857. shataph, shaw-taf'; a prim. root; to gush; by implication to inundate, cleanse; by anal. to gallop, conquer:--drown, (over-) flow (-whelm), rinse, run, rush, (throughly) wash (away).

B. His Resolution Involves His Promise In The Trial Of Fire

(Isaiah 43:2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

One writer said…

Notice the frank and matter-of-course way in which your AFFLICTIONS AND TRIALS are mentioned. “The waters,” “the rivers,” “the fire,” “the flame”; it takes it for granted that you will meet with some or all of them before you have finished your course, and they are mentioned in a way, too, that will not suffer you to think lightly of them. “Waters,” many of them, and may be deep; “rivers,” rushing calamities that threaten to carry you away; “fire and flame!” hard words these, and I gather that your tribulations, Jacob, are great, various, and sure.

(J. J. Wray from The Biblical Illustrator)

(1 Peter 4:12) Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

1. There Can Be A Steadiness In Our Fiery Experiences

walkest – Hebrew 3212. yalak, yaw-lak'; a prim. root [comp. H1980]; to walk (lit. or fig.); causat. to carry (in various senses):-- X again, away, bear, bring, carry (away), come (away), depart, flow, + follow (-ing), get (away, hence, him), (cause to, make) go (away, -ing, -ne, one's way, out), grow, lead (forth), let down, march, prosper, + pursue, cause to run, spread, take away ([-journey]), vanish, (cause to) walk (-ing), wax, X be weak.

There is almost the idea of a deliberate march in this walking. Most of us would rather run through the fiery trials. But we can walk calmly because He is with us. As Charles Spurgeon said…

The godly have the best company in the worst places in which their lot is east. “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee.” The godly have special help in their times of deepest trouble. “And through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.” The godly are the subjects of miracles of mercy in seasons of greatest distress. “When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned.” (From The Biblical Illustrator)

2. There Can Be A Safety In Our Fiery Experiences

So that we are not…

burned – Hebrew 3554. kavah, kaw-vaw'; a prim. root; prop. to prick or penetrate; hence to blister (as smarting or eating into):--burn. It also has the idea of being branded or marked by burning; it also appears to have the signification of hollowing or excavating.

And the flame shall not…

kindle – Hebrew 1197. ba'ar, baw-ar'; a prim. root; to kindle, i.e. consume (by fire or by eating); also (as denom. from H1198) to be (-come) brutish:--be brutish, bring (put, take) away, burn, (cause to) eat (up), feed, heat, kindle, set ([on fire]), waste.

flame – Hebrew 3852. lehabah, leh-aw-baw'; or lahebeth, lah-eh'-beth; fem. of H3851, and mean. the same:--flame (-ming), head [of a spear].

I wonder if the three Hebrews in Daniel 3 was quoting this verse when they were thrown into the flaming furnace of Nebuchadnezzar?

Illustration: George A. Young was an obscure 19th Century preacher and carpenter who spent a lifetime humbly serving the Lord in small rural communities. Often his financial support was small, and it was hard on his family. But through all the ups and downs his faithful wife never wavered in her loyalty to God and to her husband. After a long struggle, the family was able to move into their own small home (which George built himself). But then, on an occasion when George was away preaching, some local thugs who didn’t like his Gospel preaching set fire to the house, and it was totally destroyed. It was out of that experience that Young reaffirmed his faith in God by writing “God Leads Us Along.” (From the Cyber-hymnal website)

And the chorus says…

Some through the waters, some through the flood,

Some through the fire, but all through the blood;

Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,

In the night season and all the day long.

III. Notice God’s Reassurance In This Passage

A. His People Are Assured By His Lofty Name

(Isaiah 43:3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

1. He Has A Name That Is Powerful

LORD – Hebrew 3068. Yehovah, yeh-ho-vaw'; from H1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jeho-vah, Jewish national name of God:--Jehovah, the Lord.

God – Hebrew 430. 'elohiym, el-o-heem'; plur. of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but spec. used (in the plur. thus, esp. with the art.) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative:--angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.

2. He Has A Name That Is Pure

Holy – Hebrew 6918. qadowsh, kaw-doshe'; or qadosh, kaw-doshe'; from H6942; sacred (ceremonially or morally); (as noun) God (by eminence), an angel, a saint, a sanctuary:--holy (One), saint.

Saviour – Hebrew 3467. yasha', yaw-shah'; a prim. root; prop. to be open, wide or free, i.e. (by impl.) to be safe; causat. to free or succor:-- X at all, avenging, defend, deliver (-er), help, preserve, rescue, be safe, bring (having) salvation, save (-iour), get victory.

The giving of Egypt, Ethiopia and Seba probably refers to a battle that had taken place with the Persian king Cambyses, the successor of King Cyrus, in which Israel was by-passed and Egypt was attacked instead. And we see this wonderful word “ransom.”

ransom – Hebrew 3724. kopher, ko'-fer; from H3722; prop. a cover, i.e. (lit.) a village (as covered in); (spec.) bitumen (as used for coating), and the henna plant (as used for dyeing); fig. a redemption-price:--bribe, camphire, pitch, ransom, satisfaction, sum of money, village.

I want to say with Job…

(Job 33:24) Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.

B. His People Are Assured By His Loving Nature

(Isaiah 43:4) Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

1. Because Of His Loving Appreciation, His People Have Been Promoted

Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable

precious – Hebrew 3365. yaqar, yaw-kar'; a prim. root; prop. appar. to be heavy, i.e. (fig.) valuable; causat. to make rare (fig. to inhibit):--be (make) precious, be prized, be set by, withdraw.

honourable – Hebrew 3513. kabad, kaw-bad'; or kabed, kaw-bade'; a prim. root; to be heavy, i.e. in a bad sense (burdensome, severe, dull) or in a good sense (numerous, rich, honorable); causat. to make weighty (in the same two senses):--abounding with, more grievously afflict, boast, be chargeable, X be dim, glorify, be (make) glorious (things), glory, (very) great, be grievous, harden, be (make) heavy, be heavier, lay heavily, (bring to, come to, do, get, be had in) honour (self), (be) honourable (man), lade, X more be laid, make self many, nobles, prevail, promote (to honour), be rich, be (go) sore, stop.

We were nothing before He found us, but now He has made us something. He has given us honour. He views us as something precious.

2. Because Of His Loving Affection, His People Have Been Protected

therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life

Barnes’ Notes says…

He would cause other nations to be destroyed, if it were necessary, in order to effect their deliverance, and to restore them to their own land. We learn here:

1. That nations and armies are in the hand of God, and at his disposal.

2. That his people are dear to his heart, and that it is his purpose to defend them.

3. That the revolutions among nations, the rise of one empire, and the fall of another, are often in order to promote the welfare of his church, to defend it in danger, and deliver it in time of calamity.

4. That his people should put the utmost confidence in God as being able to defend them, and as having formed a purpose to preserve and save them.


J. Wilbur Chapman shared the following story…

The home of an English family was discovered on fire. They thought everybody was out but the baby. Then mother saved her. For years as the child grew up the mother went about the house with her hands covered. The eldest of the servants had never seen her hands uncovered. But the daughter came into her room one day unexpectedly, and the mother sat there with her hands uncovered. They were torn and scarred and disfigured.

Instantly the mother tried to cover them as the girl came forward, but she said, “I had better tell you about it. It was when the fire was in the house and you were in your cradle. I fought my way through the flames to get you. I wrapped you in a blanket and dropped you through the window, and somebody caught you. I could not go down the stairway, so I climbed out of the window. My hands were burnt, and I slipped and caught on the trellis work. When I fell, my hands were torn. The doctor did his best, but, my dear, these hands were torn for you.”

And the girl, who had grown to womanhood, sprang toward her mother, took one hand and then the other, and buried her face in those hands, as she kept saying, “They are beautiful hands, beautiful hands.”

(Paul Lee Tan’s Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations – #8073. Her Mother’s Beautiful Hands)

Like that loving mother, our Father (God) has endured the fire so that we can be safe.

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