Passage: Isaiah 49:14-18
14 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me."
15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
17 Your builders make haste;
your destroyers and those who laid you waste go out from you.
18 Lift up your eyes around and see;
they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, declares the LORD,
you shall put them all on as an ornament;
you shall bind them on as a bride does.
Journal: As problems and challenges bubble up and boil over, a residue often is left behind. It is a crusty layer of fear and doubt. It is the hardened drippings of loneliness and insecurity. It is the sense that God has forgotten us; that our plight is hidden and obscured. After all, since we have so often rebelled against God, why would He be cognizant of our needs or compassionate toward our sorrows?
This seems to be the emotion of Judah as the surrounding nations close in and squeeze its national sovereignty. God, through His prophet Isaiah, constantly has been admonishing His people and announcing consequences to their rebellion. Yet here, He seems to be matching His righteous indignation with His boundless mercy. He assures His people that He has not forgotten them, that He could never forget them, and that His relational engagement exceeds that of even a mother and her nursing child. [v. 14-15 -- "But Zion said, 'The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me. Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.'"]
We love our children. Yet, this great love is only a glimpse of the love that God has for His children. It is truly incomprehensible. His love wipes clean the residue of fear, doubt, loneliness and insecurity. He knows us intimately and provides for us completely. [v. 16 -- "Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands . . ."] When we miss this, it is because we have our eyes on our circumstances rather than gazing upon Him. [v. 18a -- "Lift up your eyes around and see . . ."]