What Does Isaiah 43:2 Mean?

What Does Isaiah 43:2 Mean?

We face many trials as human beings and they bring a lot of fear into our hearts. Sometimes we don’t know what to do, and the only place we can turn is to our heavenly Father.

God knows that in this world we will face many trials but throughout His Word, He has given us encouragement and comfort. One of the Bible verses that He uses to comfort us is Isaiah 43:2,

isaiah book

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."

It’s normal to feel alone when all around you is falling apart and you see no hope of the end coming soon. With God, you can face any trial and overcome it because He gives you His power and strength.

He knows that trials can easily crush and destroy you if He does not intervene. Rest in the hope that God sees your situation and will help you. 

1) Who Wrote Isaiah 43?

Isaiah 43 was written by the prophet Isaiah when He received prophetic messages from God (Isaiah 1:1). Isaiah wrote the words that God was speaking to Him and relayed them to the Isaelites the way God had spoken them.

prophet isaiah

God was comforting His people and reminding them that He was their redeemer, and would be with them just like He was when they left Egypt.


If you're interested to learn more about the book of Isaiah, there are a number of excellent bible study guides available. 

2) Breaking Down the Meaning of Isaiah 43:2

This Scripture talks about “when” and not “if” you pass through the waters, rivers, and fire.

These things will come but you have God’s assurance of deliverance and hope. Let us break down the meaning of Isaiah 43:2 so that we can understand it better.

A. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;”

Life can take us through rough waters and we feel like we are drowning. It’s common to hear people say things like,

“I can barely keep my head above the water” or “I’m drowning in debt.”

when you pass through the waters

When you go through many troubles, you can feel like you are drowning and cannot breathe. God’s promise is that when the waters threaten to drown you, He will be there to make sure they don’t.

He always has a way out because He wants to save your life.

King David once prayed, “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.”
Psalm 69:1

He was echoing what many of us feel when we find ourselves in situations we can’t manage. Remember that God will not leave or forsake you in your times of trouble. 

isaiah prayer

God longs to lead you to quiet and still waters that will fill your heart with peace.

Turmoil, worry and fear only complicate your situation and leave you feeling worse. That is why God makes it a priority to give you peace in His quiet waters (Psalm 23:2).

B. “and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”

It’s one thing to deal with water levels rising above your head, it’s another when you encounter rivers that want to sweep you away.

Some rivers flow with such force that they can sweep you away while you are still thinking that you can cross them safely.

and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you

The apostle Paul once reported that he was in danger from rivers meaning that he almost drowned but survived (2 Corinthians 11:26).

There are situations in your life that feel like mighty rivers that are threatening to sweep you away.

It is times like those that God promises that the rivers will not sweep over you. He is watching you closely to make sure that you get to the other side safely.

When you follow God’s leading, He will cross the river with you and ensure your safety. 

C. “When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Have you, or are you going through a situation that is so hot and you feel like it’s burning you?

On many occasions we feel like we are going through a fire and have no hope of coming out alive. That  is when God comes with His comforting words that you will not burn or be set ablaze.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze

The best example we have of going through the fire is the story of three Hebrew men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

These three men were put in a furnace, seven times hotter, because of refusing to worship an idol set up by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon.

The king had them thrown into the furnace but instead of burning, he noticed there were four people in the furnace.

He was perplexed and noted that the fourth one looked like the Son of God (Daniel 3:25).

Nebuchadnezzar had recognized the divine presence of Jesus in the furnace. This means that God is always with us during the blazing moments in life.

💙 Decorate your home and remember that god is with you even in the most trouble times with this beautiful Painting of Isaiah 43:2

isaiah painting

3) Conclusion

Isaiah 43:2 is an encouragement to every Christian today that God will be with you during your trying times and hard seasons. You may think He is not there but He always is, like He says in His Word.

conclusion isaiah

Trust in God’s presence every day of your life and rest in His comforting arms when you don’t know what to do or say. He will deliver you from the waters, rivers, and fires of life that want to take away your peace and joy.


As with all bible verses, it's helpful to read individual verses within the context of others. Reading a study guide on the book of Isaiah is recommended to further your insight and wisdom of this verse. 


As you meditate on this Scripture, ask God to give you a revelation of His presence in your current situation.

Read next: What does Proverbs 16:9 mean? "A man's heart devised his way: but the Lord directed his steps". One of the most commonly used passages in biblical studies is Proverbs 16:9. What is its meaning ? How important is it ?

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