Deuteronomy 16; Psalm 103; Isaiah 43; Revelation 13
My nine year old daughter Annika has been going through an interesting “phase” for the last couple of years. Every time we take her somewhere (school, church etc.), she is petrified we are going to forget to pick her up. I’m happy to say I haven’t actually forgotten to get her, so I can’t really figure out where this fear comes from. I do know for certain, however, it frequently causes her to worry and occasionally get really upset. Case in point – we had a pretty good snow storm in Central Illinois this past February 24. Because of the snow, Annika’s school arranged an early (12pm) dismissal and cancelled all after school activities. I received the mass email/phone message from the school and made arrangements for my Mother (her grandma) to pick her up early. No problem. In our house, you don’t get your own phone until 5th grade, so I had no way to let Annika know of the plan. The school supervisors don’t go home until all kids are picked up, so no big deal, right? Wrong! My Mother received a phone message from Annika. She was sobbing so hard she could barely get the words out. She had called from her teacher’s phone to make sure my Mom knew of the early dismissal, then Annika pleaded with my Mom to be there at noon to get her.
Another interesting characteristic of Annika’s current “phase” is she also loves to hold my hand. I’m pretty sure this is because she just likes to be with me, or perhaps this is just her way of keeping track of me? Either way, Annika’s actions demonstrate an acute awareness of who she is, to whom she belongs and who is watching over her. She gains an incredible sense of comfort from simply knowing I am there.
The context for verses 1-7 of Isaiah 43 is the tribe of Judah suffering under Babylonian rule. In the first seven verses, we see God reminding his people who they are, to whom they belong and the protection he provides them in the midst of their hardship. The comfort I find in this passage comes from the unchanging nature of God. These truths were applicable in the Old Testament and they still apply to our lives today.
Truth #1 – We are created by God (verse 1)
- He who created you, he who formed you
- I have called you by name
Truth #2 – We belong to God (verse 1, verse 7)
- For I have redeemed you – as a verb, redeemed means to gain or regain possession of something in exchange for payment
- You are mine
- Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory
Truth #3 – God watches over and protects us (verses 2 and 3)
- I will be with you
- You shall not be burned
- I am the Lord your God, your Savior
I won’t lie. As a mom, I love that Annika loves to be by my side. (At least for a little while longer, age 13 will be here before we know it!) But what I really hope to teach Annika is that her identity, her belonging and protection come from Jesus. I’m an okay mother. He is a perfect father who will watch over and protect her all the days of her life.