God our Overseer
In Isaiah 52, God speaks to the Israelites about the time when He will lead them out of Babylonian captivity and exile which is where they were. He says that He will watch over their coming and going. In verse 12, Isaiah says “But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” In this verse, the Lord sought to reassure His people of His favor and protection over them. The Lord says they will not leave in haste as they did, for example, during the exodus when they left Egypt generations earlier in a rush, and that He will be their rear guard should anyone try to sneak up on them from behind. I’m sure this was reassuring to a nation that felt insecure living under the hand of the wicked Babylonian empire.
While we do not live in captivity, our world today is filled with turmoil, unrest, and sin. Sometimes it seems that evil and chaos close in on us, and we might feel insecure because we don’t know what’s ahead of us or behind us. But God says do not fear. The Lord will go before us which means He will be our captain and will lead us through. He will prepare the way so that we can follow without fear of our enemies or confusion of what’s happening around us. It’s like having a guide who’s been down this road before and knows all the twists and turns. But not only will God take the lead, He says He will also bring up the rear. We should have no fear of being attacked from behind. God is on guard. The end of a train or caravan is generally where the weaker and more feeble ones are; maybe those that lag behind. But the Lord will gather them up. As our rear guard, He will keep those who are tired or injured safe as well.
So if you feel anxious, insecure, or weak, remember that the Lord goes before you and behind you. He promises to be present with you and hem you in with His strength and compassion. Despite the crazy times we live in, may you find hope and reassurance in God’s promises.