By using a Bible computer program you can type in the words, “I am with you,” and in just moments the screen displays every passage where this phrase is found. If you count all references to “I am with you” plus “I will be with you,” you will discover more than 20 occurrences altogether.
A study of these in context is impressive—and reassuring. Over and over God pledges His presence and His help to His people. Among those who received this assurance (and who really needed the encouragement) were Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Jeremiah, and Paul (Genesis 26:3, 24; 28:15; 31:3; Exodus 3:12; Deuteronomy 31:23; Joshua 1:5; 3:7; Judges 6:16; Jeremiah 1:8, 19; 15:20; Acts 18:9-10). God also encouraged Israel with this promise through Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Haggai (Isaiah 41:10; 43:1-2, 5; Jeremiah 30:10-11; 42:11; 46:28; Haggai 1:13; 2:4).
In time of crisis
God promised to be with them in view of their facing tremendous difficulties and challenges. The normal human reaction to such hurdles would be discouragement and fear. In fact in several of these passages God says, “Do not fear,” along with the promise, “I am with you.” In other words, Since I am with you, therefore you need not fear. And so we can say with David, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me . . .” (Psalm 23:4).
The promise of God’s presence and help is conditional on our cooperating with His will (1 Kings 11:38; 14:7-11). Let’s so live that God can always be with us.
God’s presence may be invisible, but it is real. His promise “I am with you” may be ancient, but it isn’t dated. We need to hear those words today as much as those in earlier times. We too face great trials as we obey Christ. But as Jesus said in giving us the Great Commission, “. . . I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
To the end of the age.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/
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