UNDERSTANDING the ‘INTIMATE LOVE’ that GOD has for us
August 1 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 49-51
"Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me." (Isaiah 49:15-16)
The above declarations are made by Jehovah God to His beloved children Israel when they had complained that they were forsaken by God. God promises Israel that His new covenant with the Gentiles does not negate His old covenant with Israel. In fact, God will overcome Israel’s destroyer, clothe Israel in ornaments, multiply her numbers, and cause the nations to help her. He will indeed be her Savior and Redeemer (see Isaiah 43:1-21; Obad. 15).
Not only that, but God promises that His relationship with Israel is much more intimate and profound than what they imagine. Could a mother ever forget her nursing child? Even if that unlikely event happened, God would be even more faithful and would never forget Israel. In fact, she is inscribed on the palms of His hands, and her walls are never out of His mind. This is what God declares: “As for Me, I am unable to forget you.”
This act of inscribing in the palms of God’s hands may be compared to the names of the tribes of Israel inscribed on the stones of the priest’s ephod (see Exodus 28:9–12). When the priest was in the temple, the engraved names would remind God of His covenant with Israel. In the similar manner, the Creator God has His thoughts always focused on the welfare of His people.
There are times when we wonder if God really cares about us (v. 14), but He assures us that we are never forgotten. We are His beloved children (v. 15) and He will never forget us (v. 16). Let us be rest assured about God’s intimate love for us and boldly declare: "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me." (Psalms 27:10)
When times of discouragement and doubt come, never forget that God still loves you! We instinctively compare the reference to the palms of Jehovah’s hands with the love wounds borne by Christ for us. God’s love for us is as expansive as the open arms of Christ on the cross. In Isaiah 49:15, God has tried to compare His love, care and compassion with something we can relate to – the care and compassion of a woman towards her nursing child. Surely even if a new mother may forget her nursing baby, be assured – God will never forget us anytime…ever!!!