God’s AMAZING PROMISE of PROTECTION: But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..." (Isaiah 43:1-3)
This above passage is a declaration of God to protect His people Israel on the basis that He has created them from the dust of the earth (Gen. 2:7) for good works (Eph. 2:10); redeemed them from Egypt; set them apart for Himself and has entered into an everlasting covenant with them. God claims Israel as His own on the basis of four factors: (1) creation, (2) formation, (3) redemption, and (4) naming, which according to the oriental custom signified ownership.
In spite of Israel’s deliberate rejection of God to rule as her rightful king, God reassures them, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you". The theme of redemption appears twenty-two times in the Servant passages of the Book of Isaiah, and indicates redemption from physical and spiritual bondage as well as the eschatological redemption that is yet to come (Isaiah 43:5–7; 44:22; 49:16, 17). In tones of tender love, Jehovah assures His people that they need not fear, because He who created, formed, redeemed, and called them will be with them when they pass through the waters and walk through the fire. Passing through the waters is an allusion to the crossing of the Red Sea (Ex. 14:21, 22) and the Jordan River (Josh. 3:14–17). Walking through the fire is a metaphor for protection in danger (Ps. 66:12) as we consider God’s protection of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace (Dan. 3:25–27).
In our case, there is no reason to be afraid when we understand God’s amazing promise of protection and realize what God has done for us. He has formed us (Isaiah 43:1) making us for Himself (v. 21) and for His glory (v. 7). When we have trusted Jesus Christ, God has redeemed us (v. 1) and blotted out all our sins (v. 25). He loves us (v. 4) and knows our names (v. 1). Even more, God promises to be with us (v. 5) and take us through the waters and the fire (v. 2). The waters can make us wet or bring us discomfort, but they will not overwhelm us or overflow over us. God’s presence and protection will be there when we walk through the furnace of affliction. We will not be burned nor shall the fire scorch us as we have God’s protection over us. Since we are called to holiness (set apart for God), we need to be separated from anything that is unclean or impure. So, when we walk through fire, we will realize that God’s purpose for us is to purify us and not to destroy us!
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:28-31)