Name calling and the Gospel

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Name calling and the Gospel

There’s a fun place in Isaiah 41, where God uses a little name calling to get our attention. 😉 This verse sticks out as an oddity, so it just begs to be studied. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a verse your would share for reaching someone with the love of Jesus. Many might consider it more than a hint offensive, but the redemption promise in it is so clear, we might be itching to share it by the end of the study.

Please read Isaiah 41:14-15 –

Fear not, you worm Jacob,
    you men of Israel!
I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord;
    your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
15 Behold, I make of you a threshing sledge,
    new, sharp, and having teeth;
you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,
    and you shall make the hills like chaff;

I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to think of myself as a worm. In fact, this is crazy counter-cultural. We like to think we are pretty good people. Ok, decent people. You know, average citizen kind of people.

The reality is that God’s honesty in this circumstance is our salvation.

Jacob was a worm. We are a worm. It is what it is. We stink it up. We put ourselves before other people. We hold our earthly treasures tight to our hearts. We disregard God on some level, daily. We consider ourselves in such a way that we push His Spirit further down, so we don’t have to listen to the Truth that shakes us to our core – we need Him. Without Him, we are dust, worms along the ground, here one day, dried up in the sunshine the next.

Paul, the apostle, missionary of the Early Church, dynamic speaker, teacher, and child of God, has something to say on the matter as well. Investigate the verses below –

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.

1 Timothy 1:15-16

 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Romans 7:21,24-25

“…Of whom I am the foremost.”

“Who will rescue me…”

Just as Paul includes the answer to his questions in the concluding verses, so does Isaiah. Turn back to Isaiah 41:14, or read it here below, once more.

Fear not, you worm Jacob,
    you men of Israel!
I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord;
    your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

Redemption is the answer, girls.

God gives us the Law. He doesn’t mess around with prettying it up. We are sinful. We need a Savior. And what He gives us in return is so much more, so much better.

We have a helper.

Christ, as our Redeemer, is also the help we need. What sweet Gospel Truth! I don’t know about you, but most days I need some help. I don’t need prettying it up. I need real and constant help- for myself, for my children, for my church, for my life.

Part of the Gospel of redemption is that He is here to help. Let’s let Him. Let’s turn to His Word and turn to prayer. Our salvation is 100% secure in Jesus Christ, we have nothing, absolutely nothing to fear. We can let Him root around a little in there and do His good work in complete assurance.

Verse 15 of Isaiah 41 tells us that when it’s the worm against the mountain of life, the worm in Christ wins.

My help is in the name of the Lord!

Psalm 124:8

Say it loud and strong. Call on Him with me.

My help is in the name of the Lord!

Father, we come to You. We give You thanks for Your Word and Your Truth. You have redeemed us. You have rescued us from the low place. You raise us up with Your Son. We trust in You. We honor You. We ask You to continue this work in our lives today and every day. Spirit, change our hearts, change our minds, change our lives as You draw us closer to the Father everyday. Thank you for seeing us, Lord. Thank you for being faithful, when we are not. Fill us with Your Grace, now and always. You are everything, Lord. Everything. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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Exploration:

What is one thing that you would like the Lord’s help with? (This could be related to yourself, your marriage, your friendships, your church, your community, anything!)

He is already there, sister, but let’s bring it before Him. Take a moment to pray for His help with this specific thing today.

Write Psalm 124:8 on a post-it or notecard, anywhere, today. Take a picture and share it with us here. Use the meme above and share it in your newsfeed. Share it wherever, with whomever. Rejoice! You are the face of Christ’s mercy to someone who needs to hear it today.

3 thoughts on “Name calling and the Gospel”

  1. “…we push His spirit down…” That says it well. I do that. I decide to spend an hour doing something that isn’t edifying or even particularly God pleasing and it’s as though I close the door on the little voice that’s suggesting 5 other better uses of my time because I just wanna do want I wanna do.

  2. This is what I need prayers for. I am so frustrated with the youth parents in our church. Why can’t they see that time in God’s Word and time spent together in God’s Word is more important than other things? Why do they not seek this out for their children (& themselves)? Why does my son have to be the only one at youth Bible class most of the time?

    1. It’s really hard when it impacts your kids, wanting more for them, people for them to grow in faith with. The only comfort I have is that God sees your faithfulness. Keep on keeping on. 🙂

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