Isaiah 41:4, 8-14

“Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, am first, and will be with the last…. But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Yes, all who are incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.” Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you insect Israel! I will help you, says the LORD; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.”  Isaiah 41:4, 8-14

 

When does good news not sound so good?  Sometimes it has to do with the delivery, even the tone of voice.

 

When a friend says, “OF COURSE I’M STILL YOUR FRIEND” through pursed lips and an obviously angry red face…let’s just say this sentiment falls a bit short of that old warm and fuzzy feeling.  They still love you but it seems like their outsides don’t seem to reflect the insides.

 

So it is in these verses.  God is reassuring his people Israel that he is with them, that he has always been with them, that he will defend them, that he will strengthen them, just as he always has.  But then comes the kicker, “Do not fear, You WORM Jacob, you INSECT Israel!”

 

Ouch.

 

It sounds as if God is frustrated with Israel.  The language carries a frustrated tone.  So we might ask ourselves – does God get frustrated with us?  More importantly, in the conception of God that we carry in our hearts and minds, is there room for God to get frustrated with us?  Or do we let God off the hook of anything that might sound like an inappropriate feeling?  Or are we really letting ourselves off the hook by defining God only by good feelings, constant patience, nice stuff?

 

I know myself.  I’m not at all surprised at the idea that God would be frustrated with me.  I know God is love and God loves me.  I know that Jesus is my Savior, my hope and my redeemer.  I know I am good enough for God and that God provides enough for my family and I to live.  I know I can be useful for God in the world.  But at the same time, far too often my inner darkness blinds me to all of that.  I can imagine God being frustrated with me when I feel despair and emptiness, or how often I live as though I have nothing to do with God.

 

So yes, there is room in my thinking for God to get frustrated with those he loves.  People who love us get frustrated with us too.  Because they (and God) only want what is best for us and they (and God) will never let us go.

 

Let us pray:  Dear Lord, we know we can be frustrating with our whining and our worrying and our wayward ways.  Forgive us for all of that and don’t quit asking for our very best.  For we know in our hearts that you only want what is best for us and for the world around us.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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45 Responses to “Isaiah 41:4, 8-14”

  1. Dean from Iowa Says:

    What a grand surprise and delight to hear from you. I pray all is well with you and your loved ones.

  2. Liana Padilla Says:

    Blast from the past. I haven’t gotten devotions from you in years, I am glad I got one today. Thank You Liana Padilla

  3. Lyn Says:

    Thank you. This was a wonderful surprise to find in my email box this evening. I have missed these devotions these past months.

    I pray all is well with you, your family and your ministry.

    Thank you again.
    Lyn

  4. Art Register Says:

    Lyn said it better than I could hope to!

    Good hearing from you again.

    Regards,

    Art

  5. LaVonne Severson Says:

    Thank you for coming back to my computer. I really like your devotions and I look forward to yur future ones. It was a surprise this evening when I opened my email to find you back again. Keep them coming. I pray all is well with all of you.

    LaVonne

  6. Diane Says:

    It is good to hear from an old friend when you are having a bad day. Thank you Rev. Kerry. Thank you Holy Spirit!

  7. Linda L elbe Says:

    Indeed, it is good to have these devotionals back again. I have missed them.

  8. Don Says:

    Welcome back! Like a long lost friend has returned.

  9. Julie Says:

    Ditto! Good to have you back!
    Julie
    Milwaukee

  10. Denise Says:

    Hi Kerry,
    What a welcome surprise. How are you? Are you pastoring a church? We are well.
    Denise

  11. Carolyn Says:

    I just got home from work and was not sleeping. What a great surprise to see this in my email! It’s good to have you back. May God continue to bless you, your family and your ministry.

    Thanks,
    Carolyn

  12. Ann Says:

    It was wonderful to have these devotions show up again. I have a small devotional that I use every day but always appreciated your insight of scripture.

    Thank you,
    Ann

  13. Ginny Buschbom Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you….perfect timing in my life for you to start these again. I pray that you will continue these deeply moving and direction changing (towards God) devotionals.

    Thanks again,
    Ginny

  14. Dorene Says:

    Thank you. What a nice surprise it was to find this in my inbox this morning. I have really missed your devotions as I sit at my desk in the early morning with a hot cup of coffee. Your message starts my day off in the right direct and gives me peace of mind for the day.

    Thank you,
    Dorene

  15. David Says:

    Welcome Back

  16. slm Says:

    It’s good to see you back doing Devotions. I’ve always enjoyed and learned from your perspective.

    I’m not too sure about God being frustrated. I think it’s a slippery slope to think we can frustrate Him. If God is sovereign over ALL how does he sense frustration?
    I think God knows we’re all broken and I think in Isaiah 41:14 He is calling a worm a worm. Israel was in a horrible condition and God is stating fact.
    Having said that, we see God’s wrath, rebuke and anger throughout Scripture, so we know He displays emotions, so why not frustration? I don’t know? I need to give this more thought.

  17. Georgene Says:

    Sometimes a word comes just when you need it, just like this daily devotion showing up in my email. Thanks for coming back. Don’t stay away so long the next time. I’ve really missed ou.

  18. Eric Says:

    Agree with Lyn and Ann, what a gift to see this posted today!

  19. Mike Says:

    Thnak you for your unannounced return. I,too, have missed your uplifting devotions. Welcome back. I hope and pray youare able to stay much longer.

  20. Lora Says:

    Like those above, thank you for posting these devotions. It’s a a rough year and seeing this in my mailbox really brightened my day. Your insight is very challenging yet soothing. Thank you and God Bless you!!

  21. Gayle Cole Says:

    What a nice suprise in my mail box!! Thank you!

  22. Mary Dvorak Says:

    Bless you, what a wonderful suprise this morning!

  23. Perry Dukes Says:

    Yes a wonderful surprise to find Pastor Kerry back in my inbox. I receive other devotions, but none speak to me like yours. Glad to have you back.

  24. Linda Says:

    Pastor Kerry,
    I’ve really missed your daily devotions. I’m so thankful you’re back.

  25. Sharon Boyd Says:

    Pastor Kerry!!
    Wow! You are finally back in my email!! Have missed your devotions! And, as usual, this is one that i so needed this one as I continue to struggle to let go to God! I KNOW He will provide for me, but, the biggest problem is that I don’t feel worthy much of the time. I know, an old and ongoing problem with our relationship with the Lord!

    Again, THANK YOU!! Have a blessed day, week, year…LIFE!
    Sharon

  26. Larry Lemke Says:

    Pastor Kerry,

    I too missed your insights. I didn’t always agree with them, but I always needed to hear them. And this one is expecially meaningful.

    Glad to have you back.

    Larry

  27. Mark Larson Says:

    After a long hiatus, it’s good to have your words of devotion back in my in-box. Thanks for making my day.

  28. Molly Myers Says:

    Thank you!! What a nice surprise!

  29. Scott Says:

    You’re back! To echo the above comments, a wonderful surprise in the in-box this morning.

  30. Ray Kilminster Says:

    What a surprise in the e-mail this morning! Welcome back, and I hope all is well with you and the family.

    May God bless you all and the angels watch over you.

    Ray Kilminster

  31. Dana Grams Says:

    Wow, what a most wonderfully pleasant surprise this morning!! I was just thinking the other day how much I enjoyed starting my day with you, Pastor Kerry. You have many times been a voice in the darkness that adds the light when needed most – thank you for that. Hope all is well with you – welcome back, my friend.

    God’s richest blessings to you.
    Dana

  32. Marti Pitsenbarger Says:

    YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So glad you’re back. I hope all is well. So glad to be surprised with this today. Hope it is one of many more to come.

    God’s grace and peace be with you today and always,

    Marti Pits

  33. Don Meyer Says:

    What a remarkable morning! I have really missed your devotions these past 13 months. So, when I saw this pop up in my e-mail I felt like a kid who got a present he didn’t know he was going to get. Thank you for adding this to your ministry again. I know that this is one of the ways that God breaks into my life to surprise and encourage me.

    Don Meyer

  34. Shirley Engerbretson Says:

    I echo the comments before me! I am so glad you are back and I thank you for your commitment to do these devotions! I will look forward to them in days to come.

    Shirley Engerbretson

  35. Elaine Nesvig Says:

    What a wonderful surprise to find in my e-mail !! All I can say is thank you, thank you !! Welcome back. It made my day.

  36. Jerry H. Says:

    I, like others who commented before me, was VERY pleased to see the Daily Devotion in my Inbox today! Thank you for starting this up again….they make a difference in peoples’ lives. Peace. Jerry

  37. julmelmomCarole Harris Says:

    Delightedly, and thankfully, surprised to see “DevotionsPastor Kerry” today!!!!! Welcome back and hope you will be with us for a long time.
    Carole Harris

  38. Lauri Says:

    Pastor Kerry,

    It still amazes me how God uses other people to speak to us just when we need it most! God knew I needed to read this passage and your commentary. What a blessing it was…thankful to have your devotionals again.

  39. Marge Thompson Says:

    How surprised I was just a few minutes ago to find Daily Devotions back in my e-mail. Welcome back –

    God bless you always.

    Marge Thompson

  40. sara Says:

    ‘Twas like suddenly experiencing a refreshing breath of fresh air….What a delightful surprise to find Daily Devotions once again in my email! I’ve so missed your perspectives, your insights, your wonderful, guiding spirit.

    May your ministry be blessed and continue on and on….

    sara

  41. julmelmomCarole Harris Says:

    I would like to unsubvscribe to this–can anyone tell me how? Email me at julmelmom@aol.com
    Thanks

  42. Millie Says:

    Just logged in and found an old friend. Welcome back! You were missed.

  43. Lise M Says:

    After all these months, a new devotion (hooray) and as usual, it speaks directly to my heart and my situation. It’s a God thing!

    Thanks! I needed this!

    Lise McFarren

  44. Amy Says:

    Hooray! I missed your emails! Very happy to “see” you again.

  45. Arnie Says:

    A part of my life that has been missing for many months is back! Peace be with you always.

    Arnie

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