Today I read some comforting words from Scottish minister Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661), from a sermon on Isaiah 41:14-16. That text says, “Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel…”Yet why shouldn’t we fear when we are faced with enemies and many fearful things? Only because our trust is in the One who is strong enough to defend us. Because of His great power, we know we have security in His care…and that unfailing care motivates us to act boldly and live fearlessly. Rutherford explains:”‘I will help thee, saith the Lord…’ What ground of comfort were this if it were said by one that could not help?–but the Lord says it.”…He is a king of His word. He helps indeed where He promises. When God says ‘Fear not,’ albeit thou wert compassed about [even if you were surrounded] with enemies on all sides, and there were as many devils round about you as there are piles of grass upon the earth…thou needst not to fear; thou may go through the sea then, and the sea shall not drown you; thou may’st dance on the grave, for the grave shall not rot you. And so this is a well-fard [well-favoured] word: ‘I will keep thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.’”
From Quaint Sermons of Samuel Rutherford (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1999), 2, 13.