Redeemed and Forgiven
by John C. Westervelt
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine! Isaiah 43:1 NAS
Isaiah, speaking for God, says we are redeemed and called by name. This prophet lived in Jerusalem during the latter half of the eighth century B.C. during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. In 740 B.C., the year Uzziah died, Isaiah saw a vision of the Lord. He heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send as a messenger to my people? Who will go?”
Isaiah answered, “Here am I, Lord. Send me.” Thus began the career of an eloquent, prolific prophet who gave words of wisdom to kings as well as to the common man. As a boy I knew little about Isaiah, still I had heard his words, “They will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.” Years later, these words continue to impart hope in these turbulent times.
Isaiah records God’s encouragement for His people. “He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him.” “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but my lovingkindness will not be removed from you.”
Isaiah found words of hope for the people of Judah in their day. These same words offer hope to me on this day. “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”
Isaiah shared that God redeems us and calls us by name. In the New Testament, Peter and Jesus share more insight into God’s redemption and forgiveness.
Peter said in Acts 2:38, “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Peter is letting me know that I must repent of my sins and be baptized to receive the joy of having the Holy Spirit with me at all times.
If I ever think I can not forgive someone, I must think again. Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Forgiving sets me free from resentment. With the release of resentment, I become a free man, and that feels good.
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