“And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
AND why does it say, “and your Redeemer”? What was the use of appending the Redeemer’s name to this precious exhortation? By God’s help it shall be the business of this evening to show why there is a peculiar blessedness in the fact that God has not only said, “I will help you, says the LORD,” but has added, “and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
You will please notice that it looks as if this were a repetition by three different Persons. Israel was cast down. And Jehovah, for that is the first word–(you will notice that the word “LORD” is in capitals and should be translated “Jehovah”)–says to His poor, tried, desponding servant, “I will help you.” No sooner is that uttered and, we think we shall not be straining the text if we surmise that God the Holy Spirit, the Holy One of Israel, adds His solemn affidavit also. And declares by oath and Covenant, “I will help you.” Does not this, we say, look somewhat like repetition?
Was it not sufficient that Jehovah the Father should declare that He would help His people? Why did the other Persons of the Divine Trinity unite in this solemn declaration? We think we shall be able, if God shall help us, to show great usefulness therein, especially dwelling tonight upon that word, “your Redeemer,” and marking how the repetition of the word by our Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, adds a peculiar blessedness to the exhortation–“Fear not, you worm Jacob.”
First, methinks this was added for amplification. Secondly, for sweetness. Thirdly, for confirmation.
- First. When it says, “and your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” it was added FOR AMPLIFICATION. There are some preachers from whom you will never learn anything. Not because they do not say much which is instructive but because they just mention the instructive thought once. And then they immediately pass on to another thought–never expanding upon that thought–but immediately passing on, almost without connection to a third. They cast forth, as it were, bare thoughts, without opening them up and explaining them to the people. Such preachers are generally complained of as being very unprofitable to their hearers.
“Why,” said the hearer, “it made no impression upon me. It was good but there was so much of it that I could not recollect it. I had nothing to bring away.” Other preachers, on the other hand, follow a better method. Having given one idea, they endeavor to amplify it so that their hearers, if they are not able to receive the idea in the abstract, at least are able to lay hold upon some of its points when they come to the amplification of it.
Now, God, the great Author of the Bible. God, the great Preacher of the Truth by His Prophets–when He would preach it and when He would write it, so amplifies a fact, so extends a Truth and enlarges upon a doctrine that He says, “I will help you, says Jehovah.” That means Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “Oh, but,” said God, “My people will forget that unless I amplify the thought. So I will even break it up. I will remind them of my Trinity. They understand my Unity. I will bid them recollect that there are Three in the One, though these Three are One.” And he adds, “your Redeemer, the holy One of Israel.” Jehovah–Redeemer–Holy One of Israel–three Persons, all included, indeed, in the word Jehovah but very likely to be forgotten unless they had been distinctly enumerated.
Now, Brethren, suffer your thoughts for a moment to enlarge upon the fact that the Promise contained in this verse, “Fear not, I will help you” (I will help you), is a Promise from Three Divine Persons. Hear Jehovah, the everlasting Father, saying, “I will help you.” “Mine are the ages–before the ages began, when there were no worlds, when nothing had been created, from everlasting I am your God. I am the God of election, the God of the decree, the God of the Covenant. By My strength I did set fast the mountains, by My skill I laid the pillars of the earth. And the beams of the firmament of Heaven. I spread out the skies as a curtain and as a tent for man to dwell in. I the Lord made all these things. ‘I will help you.’ ”
Then comes Jehovah the Son. “And I also, am your Redeemer. I am eternal. My name is Wisdom. I was with God when there were no depths, before He had dug the rivers, I was there as one brought up with Him. I am Jesus, the God of Ages. I am Jesus, the Man of Sorrows–‘I am He that lives and was dead, I am alive forevermore.’ I am the High Priest of your profession, the Intercessor before the Throne, the Representative of My people. I have power with God. ‘I will help you.’ ” Poor worm, your Redeemer vows to help you. By His bleeding hands He covenants to give you aid.
And then comes the Holy Spirit. “And I,” says the Spirit, “am also God–not an influence but a Person–I, eternal and everlasting co-existent with the Father and the Son–I, who did brood over chaos, when as yet the world was not brought into form and fashion and did sow the earth with the seeds of life when I did brood over it–I, that brought again from the dead your Lord Jesus Christ, the Shepherd of the sheep–I, who am the Eternal Spirit, by whose power the Lord Jesus did arise from the thralldom of His tomb–I, by whom souls are quickened, by whom the elect are called out of darkness into light–I, who have power to maintain My children and preserve them to the end–‘I will help you.’ ”
Now, Soul, gather up these three. And do you want more help than they can afford? What? Do you need more strength than the Omnipotence of the United Trinity? Do you want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son and more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring here your empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Hurry! Gather up your wants and bring them here–your emptiness, your woes, your needs. Behold, this river of God is full for your supply. What can you want beside? Stand up, Christian, in this your might. Jehovah Father, Jehovah Jesus, Jehovah Spirit–these are with you to help you. This is the first thing. It is an amplification.
II. And now, secondly, concerning that word, “your Redeemer,” it is a SWEETENING OF THE PROMISE. Did you never notice that a Promise always seems all the sweeter for having Jesus in it? All the Promises are yes and amen in Him. But when a Promise mentions the name of the Redeemer it imparts a peculiar blessedness to it. Brethren, it is something like, if I may represent it by such a figure, the beautiful effect of certain decorations of stained glass. There are some persons whose eyes are so weak that the light seems to be injurious to them, especially the red rays of the sun and a glass has been invented which rejects the rays that are injurious and allows only those to pass which are softened and modified to the weakness of the eye.
It seems as if the Lord Jesus were some such a glass as this. The grace of God the Trinity, shining through the man Christ Jesus, becomes a mellow, soft light so that mortal eye can bear it. My God, I could not drink from Your well if You had not put there the earthen pitcher of my Savior. But with Him living waters from Your sacred well I draw. Heaven, you are too bright. I could not bear your insufferable light if I had not this shade with which I cover you. But through it, as through a mist, I do behold the halo of your glory, undiminished in its effulgence but somewhat diminished in their potency which would be my destruction.
The Savior seems to calm His glory, to tone it down to our poor feeble frame. His name put into this wine of Heaven does not diminish in the least degree its sparkling and its exhilarating power. But it takes out of it that deep strength which might upset an angel’s brain if he could drink to his full. It takes away the profundity of mystery which would make the deep old wine of the kingdom intoxicating rather than cheering. Christ Jesus, cast into the river of God, makes all the streams more sweet. And when the Believer sees God in the Person of the Savior, he then sees the God whom he can love and to whom with boldness he can approach.
Surely I love this Promise all the better, because I think I see my Savior with His hands all bleeding, stamping His hands upon it and saying, “And your Redeemer,” and there is the blood-mark left upon the Promise. It does seem to me as if when God uttered that Promise to the poor worm, Jacob, Jesus Christ could not be still. He heard His Father say, “Fear not, worm Jacob.” And He saw the poor worm, with his head on one side, with his eyes all flowing with tears, with his heart palpitating with terror and his arms folded in dismay. And when His Father had said, “Fear not,” He stepped from behind and whispered in a voice more soft than the voice of His Father, “Fear not, worm Jacob, it is God that speaks.”
And then the soft voice says, “And it is your Redeemer that speaks, too.” He says, “Fear not.” He who loves you, who knows you, who has felt what you feel, who has passed through the woes which you are now enduring–He who is your Kinsman and your Brother–He also says, “Fear not worm Jacob.” Oh, it is sweet, it is precious to look upon that word as spoken by our Redeemer.
III. And now we come to the other point. I think this is put in by way of CONFIRMATION. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses surely the whole shall be established.”–
“Blind unbelief is sure to err.”
It needs many witnesses to make such unbelieving souls as we are believe the Promises. “Now,” says God, “I will help you.” Unbelief! Will you doubt Jehovah? Can the “I Am that I Am” lie? Can the God of faithfulness and truth deceive you? O unbelief! Infamous traitor! Will you dare to doubt Him? Yes and Christ knew I would.
And so He comes in and He says, “and your Redeemer,” as a second witness, while the Spirit is the third. “Your Redeemer,” volunteers to be the second guarantee, the other security to the faithfulness of this Promise. The Father will lose His honor if He breaks His word. And I, too, do give as the security for the fulfillment of this Promise, My pledge and honor also. “Your Redeemer” engages that He will help you, O you worm!
And now, I want you to read the Promise, recollecting that it says, “Your Redeemer.” And then, as you read it through, you will see how the word “Redeemer” seems to confirm it all. Now begin. “I will help you”–lay a stress on that word. If you read it so, there is one blow at your unbelief. “I will help you,” says the Redeemer. “Others may not but I have loved you with an everlasting love and by the bands of My loving kindness have I drawn you. ‘I will help you,’ though the earth forsake you, though your father and your mother forsake you, I will take you up. Will you doubt Me?
“I have proved My love to you. Behold this gash, this spear thrust in My side. Look here at My hands–will you doubt Me? ‘'Tis I.’ I said that on the waters and I said to My people, ‘Be not afraid. It is I.’ I say to you, now you are on the waters, ‘Be not afraid. I will help you.’ Surely you need not fear that I shall ever forget you. ‘Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet will I not forget you.’ ‘I have graven you on My hands. Your walls are ever before me.’ ‘I will help you.’ ”
Now, you must just suppose the Savior standing here–that Man whose garments are red with blood–you must suppose Him standing where I stand tonight and saying to you, personally, “Fear not, I will help you.” O my Lord, I have ungratefully doubted Your Promise many a time. But methinks if I could see You in all Your woe and sorrow for me, if I could hear You say, “I will help you,” I should cast myself at Your feet and say, “Lord, I believe, help You my unbelief.” But though He is not here to speak it, though the lips that utter it are but the lips of man, remember that He speaks through me tonight and through His Word, as truly as if He spoke Himself.
If some great man should by a servant, or by a letter send to you this message, “I will keep you.” Though you had not heard his own lips declare it, yet if you saw his own hand writing, you would say, “It is enough, I believe it.” There is the Master’s handwriting. It is His own autograph, it is written by Himself. Behold the bloody signature! It is stamped with His Cross and I, His messenger, am sent tonight to myself and to you and I say to my own heart and to you, “Why are you cast down, O my Soul! Why are you disquieted within me? Hope you in God. For I shall yet praise Him.” For the Redeemer says, “I will help you,” and if He says, “I will help you,” who can doubt Him? Who dares distrust Him?
And now let us read the Promise again and lay the stress on the “will.” Oh, the “wills” and the “shalls”–they are the sweetest words in the Bible. “I will help you.” When God says “I will,” there is something in it, Brethren. The will of God started worlds into existence. The will of God made nature leap from chaos–the will of God sustains all worlds, “bears the earth’s huge pillars up,” and establishes creation. It is God’s “I will.” He lets the world live. They live on the “will” of God. And if He willed that they should die, they must sink as the bubble into the breaker, when its moment has arrived.
And if the “will” of God is so strong as that, may we not lay a great stress upon it here–“I will help you.” There is no doubt about it. I do not say I may help you perhaps. No, I will. I do not say that possibly I may be persuaded to help you. No, I voluntarily will to help you. “I will help you.” I do not say that in all probability–ninety-nine chances out of a hundred–it is likely I may help you. No. But without allowing any perhaps, or so much as a jot or tittle of hap or hazard, I will. Now, is there not strength in that? Indeed, my Brethren, it is enough to cheer any man’s spirit, however much he may be cast down. If God the Holy Spirit does but breathe upon the text and lets its spices flow abroad into our poor souls, “Fear not, I will help you.”
And now we lay stress on another word–“I will help you.” That is very little for me to do, to help you. Consider what I have done already. What? Not help you? Why, I bought you with My blood! What? Not help you? I have died for you! And if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help you, My Beloved? It is the least thing I will ever do for you. I have done more and I will do more. Before the daystar first began to shine I chose you. “I will help you.” I made the Covenant for you and exercised all the wisdom of My eternal mind in the scheming of the plan of salvation.
“I will help you.” I became a Man for you. I doffed My diadem and laid aside My robe. I laid the purple of the universe aside to become a Man for you. If I did this, I will help you. I gave My life, My soul, for you. I slumbered in the grave, I descended into Hades, all for you. I will help you. It will cost Me nothing. Redeeming you cost Me much but I have all and abound. In helping you, I am giving you what I have bought for you already. It is nothing, I can do it easily. “Help you?” You need never fear that. If you needed a thousand times as much help as you need, I would give it to you. But it is little that you do require compared with what I have to give. ‘Tis great for you to need but it is nothing for Me to bestow. “Help you?” Fear not.
If there were an ant at the door of your granary asking for help, it would not ruin you to give him a handful of your wheat. And you are nothing but a tiny insect at the door of My all-sufficiency. All that you could ever eat, all that you could ever take, if you were to take on to all eternity, would no more diminish My all-sufficiency, than the drinking of the fish would diminish the sea. No. “I will help you.” If I have died for you, I will not leave you.
And now, just take the last word–“I will help you.” Lay the stress there. “Fear not, you worm Jacob. I will help you.” If I let the stars fall, I will help you. If I let all nature run to rack and ruin, I will help you. If I permit the teeth of time to devour the solid pillars upon which the earth does stand, yet I will help you. I have made a Covenant with the earth, “that seedtime and harvest, summer and winter, shall never cease.” But that Covenant, though true, is not so great as the Covenant that I have made concerning you. And if I keep My Covenant with the earth, I will certainly keep My Covenant with My child. “Fear not. I will help you.” Yes, you!
You say, “I am too little for help.” But I will help you to magnify My power. You say, “I am too vile to be helped,” but I will help you to manifest My grace. You say, “I have been ungrateful for former help,” but I will help you to manifest My faithfulness. You say “But I shall still rebel, I shall still turn aside.” “I will help you,” to show forth My longsuffering–let it be known, “I will help you.”
And now just conceive my Master on His Cross bleeding there, looking down on you and on me. Picture Him while His voice falters with love and misery conjoined. And hear Him. He has just now spoken to the thief and He has said to Him, “Today, shall you be with Me in Paradise.” And after He has said that, He catches sight of you and of me, poor and depressed–and He says–“Fear not, worm Jacob. I will help you. I helped the thief–I will help you. I Promised him that he should be with Me in Paradise. I may well Promise you that you shall be helped. I will help you.” O Master! May Your love that prompts You thus to speak prompt us to believe You.
And now hear Him again. He is exalted on high. He has “led captivity captive and received gifts for men”–now hear Him, as in the midst of the solemn pomp of Heaven He is not unmindful of His poor relations. He looks down and He sees us in this world still struggling with sin and care and woe. He hears us claiming kingship with Himself. And He says, “Worm Jacob! Though I now do reign exalted on High, My love is still as great. I will help you.” I pray the Lord apply the sweetness of that pronoun to your hearts and to mine, my Brethren. “I will help you.” O surely when the husband speaks to the wife in the hour of darkness and sorrow and comforts her, you can easily understand what arguments he uses, when he says, “wife of my youth! My joy, my delight, I will help you!”
You can easily conceive how he enumerates times of love, seasons when he stood by her in the hour of trouble. You can easily think how he reminds her of the days of their espousals and tells her of their struggles and of their joys–and he says, “Wife, can you doubt me? No. As I am a husband I will help you!” And now you hear the Savior speaking to His Church, “Betrothed to Me before time began, I have taken you into union with My adorable Person. And O, My bride, though My palace stands in ruins and Heaven itself should shake, I will help you. Forget you? Forget My bride? Be false to My Betrothal? Forsake My Covenant? No. Never. I will help you.
Hear the mother speaking to her little child in great danger–“Child,” she says, “I will help you.” And then she reminds that child that she is its mother, that from her breast the child drew its needed nourishment in the days of weakness. She reminds it how she has nursed it and rocked it upon her knee and how in every way she has been its solace and support. “Child!” says she and her heart runs over–“I will help you!” Why, the child never doubts it. It says, “Yes mother, I know you will. I am sure of that, I do not need to be told it, I was certain you would, for I have had such proofs of your love.”
And now ought not we who love the Savior let our eyes run with tears and say, “O You blessed Redeemer! You need not tell us You will help us, for we know You will. Oh do not suppose that we doubt You so much as to want to be told of it again. We know You will help us. We are sure of it. Your former love, Your ancient love, the love of Your espousals, Your deeds of kindness, Your everlasting drawings–all these declare that You never can forsake us.” No, no. “I will help you.”
And now, Brethren, we are coming downstairs to eat the body of Christ and drink His blood in a spiritual manner. And I hope while we are partaking of that bread and wine, the emblems of the Savior, we shall think we hear every mouthful of bread and every sip of wine saying out in the Master’s behalf, “I will help you, I will help you.” And then let you and I just frighten Satan by cheering up our spirits through the power of the Holy Spirit and buckling on our armor. Let us go forth into the world tomorrow to show what the Redeemer can do when His Promise is applied by the Spirit. “Fear not, you worm Jacob and you men of Israel. I will help you.”
Come, bring your fears out tonight and serve them in the worst way you can. Hang them here upon the scaffold this night. Come now and blow them away at the great guns of the Promises–let them be destroyed forever. They are renegade mutineers. Let them be cut off, let them be utterly destroyed and let us go and sing, “Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. Though the waters thereof roar and are troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.” “I will help you,” says the Redeemer.
O Sinners, I pity you–this is not your Promise. If this were all that you did lose by being out of Christ, it were enough to lose, indeed. May God call you and help you to trust in the Redeemer’s blood. Amen.