Known and loved

This weeks Old Testament passage is one of the most beautiful in the Bible, so I’m going to quote it in full:

God Promises to Rescue his People

Isaiah 43:1-7

Israel, the Lord who created you says,
“Do not be afraid — I will save you.
I have called you by name — you are mine.
When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you;
your troubles will not overwhelm you.
When you pass through fire, you will not be burnt;
the hard trials that come will not hurt you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the holy God of Israel, who saves you.
I will give up Egypt to set you free;
I will give up Ethiopia and Seba.
I will give up whole nations to save your life,
because you are precious to me
and because I love you and give you honour.
Do not be afraid — I am with you!

“From the distant east and the farthest west,
I will bring your people home.
I will tell the north to let them go
and the south not to hold them back.
Let my people return from distant lands,
from every part of the world.
They are my own people,
and I created them to bring me glory.”
© 1994 British & Foreign Bible Society

Wow!

Names are very important to us.  We spend a long time thinking what we are going to call a baby; knowing someone’s name shows a certain level of relationship; remembering someone’s name shows you care; getting someone’s name wrong is quite a faux-pas.

God knows us by name, and he cares for us.  We are indeed his.  He knows not just our name, but everything about us.  He loves us, we are precious to him.  And because of that he is always with us, in whatever circumstances our lives take us.

Perhaps one of the most important things about these verses is that they don’t say, “God loves you, so life will be hunky-dory”. It acknowledges that there will be deep waters, troubles, fire and hard trials – but in all that God is with us.

This passage was written at a time when Jerusalem had been destroyed and many of the people were in exile – so they knew what they were talking about – but still lived in faith and hope of the God who loved them.

God doesn’t abandon us when life is tough – he travels with us.  However deep the water, God’s love is deeper.   We are never alone, God is with us.  We can cling to him, for he will never fail us.  We are precious to God and he loves us.  Simplistic – maybe – but profound and true.

So, wherever you are and whatever you are going through, know God’s love, care and support for you this day, in your situation.  Let him hold tight.  Rest secure in his love and his presence and feel his peace.

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