10. HELP FOR THE FEEBLE
"How precious also are Your thoughts unto me, O God!"
Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I Myself will help you," declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 41:14
"Worm Jacob!" What weakness, insignificance, unworthiness! Yet it is this helpless, groveling "worm," that occupies 'the thoughts of God'—receives His sympathy, and has the assurance of His almighty aid.
Believer, beaten down it may be with a great fight of affliction, or trembling under a sense of your unworthiness and guilt—mourning the coldness of your faith, the lukewarmness of your love, the frequency of your backslidings, the fitfulness of your best purposes, and the feebleness of your best services—your God draws near to you—He remembers that though you are a worm, still you are "worm Jacob,"—His own beloved, covenant one; and He tells that the thoughts which He thinks towards you, are "thoughts of peace, and not of evil."
Mark His message of comfort, "Do not be afraid." His promise, "I will help you." The guarantee which He gives for the fulfillment of that promise, it is His own great name; "says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." "By whom shall Jacob arise?" says the prophet Amos, "for he is small." We have here an answer. He shall rise by the might of His covenant God—the God who has given JESUS as a pledge for the bestowment of all other blessings. "I Myself will help you!" Yes, poor, weak, trembling one, "Jehovah"—"your Redeemer"—"the Holy One of Israel"—in other words, Omnipotence, Love, Righteousness, are embarked on your side, and pledged for your salvation.
He loves to draw near to His people in the extremity of their weakness. "He will not break the bruised reed, He will not quench the smoking flax." Man would do so. Man would often crush the writhing worm under his feet—bid the trembling penitent away; but He whose thoughts are not as our thoughts, says, "Neither do I condemn you." "He shall deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also, and him that has no helper." "All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him! Revere Him, all you descendants of Israel! For He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from him but has listened to his cry for help." Listen to the testimony of one such lowly suppliant—"I called upon Your name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon. You drew near in the day that I called upon You—You said, Fear not."
Seek to be humble. It is to the humble God 'gives grace.' He perfects strength in weakness. "When the high cedars," says Philip Henry, "tumble down, the shrubs are safe." "When I am weak," says the great apostle, "then am I strong." Worm Jacob, the halting cripple of Peniel, was made strong in the moment of his apparent weakness. He received a new name—"as a prince, he had power with God, and prevailed."
Be it mine to go in the strength of the Lord God. "I will help you," is enough for all the emergencies of the present, and all the contingencies of an untried, and, it may be, a dark future.
But happy are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God. Psalm 146:5