Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
Your God will Come
Jennifer had a fearful heart. She was afraid of failing. Afraid of not being the person, mother, wife, sister, daughter she wanted to be, should be. Afraid of her own weaknesses and sins. Afraid of what God would think of her.
So how does this help? “Be strong, Jennifer. Do not fear; your God will come, with vengeance, with divine retribution.” God is coming? With vengeance and divine retribution? God is coming to pay me back for all my sins and failings? That is enough to make an already fearful heart completely fall apart. Terrifying!
But that’s not what God’s Word is saying in these verses. “Your God will come…to save you!” His vengeance and divine retribution are not against us, not against the repentant sinner with a fearful heart. The vengeance and retribution are reserved for Jennifer’s enemies. “He will come to save you, Jennifer.” God is coming to dish out divine payback to all of Jennifer’s enemies and save her from them.
God did come. Jesus arrived on the scene as a human being, God himself in the flesh. He defeated sin and all its consequences. He healed illnesses. He restored sight, hearing, speech, and movement. He drove away sin and death by his death on the cross. When he died and rose again from death, Jesus paid out retribution to sin, death, and the devil, and set his people free. He set Jennifer free. She is completely forgiven of every sin and failing. She is perfectly accepted and approved by God, through the work of Jesus. Instead of fear stalking her through the desert, Jennifer now walks in faith and joy through a vibrant paradise where grace grows.
She still has a fearful heart now and then. But she knows God came for her and died to save her. And he will come for her again to take her to be with him forever.
Dear Father, calm my fearful heart with your salvation. Restore all that sin has ruined in my life. Bring me to the paradise of heaven, through Jesus my Savior. Amen.
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