Imagine, if you will, that you are an Israelite in Jerusalem and the army of Assyria is encamped against your walls. All the nations around you have fallen. Jerusalem is the last city standing, your city, Zion, which God had promised to protect.
Isaiah 49:14 speaks of the people’s reaction:
But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, And my Lord has forgotten me.”
Forsaken by God. Most of us have felt that way at one time or another. Even Jesus experienced this emotion when upon the cross He cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
I have felt forsaken. On September 11, 2001, my father was ripped from this world by terrorists. In that moment, I felt forsaken. All that I had believed in, trusted in, was stripped out from under me.
But hear what God spoke through Isaiah, the prophet:
“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)
He has inscribed you on the palms of His hands…..
This is not just taking a pen and writing your name on His skin. You have been inscribed, that is, engraved. He has taken a blade and carved His palm, wounding His flesh so that forever He will bear the scars of your name upon His hands.
Not only does He know our name, but He bears our scars upon His flesh…forever.
I have journeyed down a dark and empty road: alone, abandoned, and forsaken. But I have found something along this desolate way: a beautiful truth. My foundation is sure…and I am not alone.
We all face trials. We have difficult times. God never promised us otherwise. In fact, He told us that in this world we will have tribulation (John 16:33). But He did not leave us to travel this world without aid.
Listen what the Lord proclaims:
“I, even I, am He who comforts you.” (Isaiah 51:12)
Now this next part is a little condemning to me…God says:
“Who are you that you should be afraid?”
I have been afraid. I am sure you have too. We live in a world full of terror. But who are we that we should be afraid when the Lord is our God? If we are afraid, we do not believe.
“Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, And of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And you forget the Lord your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth.” (Isaiah 51: 12-13)
We have a powerful God. So why do we fear?
What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6)
“But I am the Lord your God, Who divided the sea whose waves roared— The Lord of hosts is His name. And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, Lay the foundations of the earth, And say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’” Isaiah 51:15-16)
We do not have a God who looks on from the outside as we struggle along the way. But we have a God who enters with us into the midst of the fire. He walks the troubled path with us, taking us through to the other side. He is our God and we are His people, engraved upon his hand: a perpetual covenant between the Lord and His chosen.
So as you travel the journey of this earthly life, remember: you are not forsaken.
If you would like to learn more about Susan’s experience with September 11, 2001, read her book: SILENT RESOLVE AND THE GOD WHO LET ME DOWN (a 9/11 story). You can find it at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, or your area retailers.