God, Remember Your People

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Isaiah 49:14-18, Jeremiah 31:7-14, Jeremiah 31:16-25, 1 Peter 2:9-10

A week before my twentieth birthday, I was startled out of my stressful study stupor when friends and even strangers on my college campus began greeting me with, “Happy early birthday! I hear your big 2-0 is coming up!” I was utterly perplexed. How did they know? Then on my birthday evening, there was a massive surprise party. Turns out my college roommate had posted signs saying, “Shh, it’s Ginny’s twentieth. Let’s celebrate.” I couldn’t see the signs because I’m blind, so I had no idea this was happening. What a delightful week being the beneficiary of all those unexpected warm greetings, and what a fabulous moment it was to discover the glorious, hidden plans.

The verses in today’s reading remind us that even when we can’t see it, we are the recipients of God’s great love. His vision for us is far greater than anything we can imagine. We never quite know what He is up to, but we can always know His plan involves bringing us closer to Him. Even when we feel He is distant or silent, or when He is wisely disciplining or pruning us, He is actually quite present.

Israel chased other gods for so long that the true God who loved them finally disciplined them by exiling them from their promised land. But even as He disciplined them, He talked to them about their present hope and bright future. God knew they believed He had abandoned them (Isaiah 49:14), but He promised it was quite the opposite. He remembered them more than a nursing mother remembers her child (v.15), writing them on the palms of His hands (v.16). So when they felt forgotten, the Lord instructed Israel to sing for joy, praise Him, ask for salvation, and watch for what He would do (Jeremiah 31:7–8). He said that as their Father and Shepherd, He would guide them into better days, and He declared them ransomed and redeemed from the power of the enemy (Jeremiah 31:9–11).

If this is how God remembered the children of Israel, a family we are grafted into as followers of Christ, then He also remembers each and every one who is in Christ. As a practice of remembrance, we are invited to call on Him to continue to remember us. 

God assured Israel they were written on his palms; engraved on Jesus’s hands forever is the evidence of the nails tethering Him to the cross where He paid for your sin and mine. So when we feel forgotten, let’s remember what Jesus did for us, making us a people for His own possession.

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48 thoughts on "God, Remember Your People"

  1. Linda Fenwick says:

    This is very powerful. It reminds me that even though I feel ignored, I’m not. He always remembers me and He is always on my side.

  2. Ada McCloud says:

    God, remember me. Show me that I am not forgotten. Amen

  3. Lynn says:

    Jill, I am praying for you this morning. Thank you for sharing so vulnerably.

  4. Jill says:

    Prayer request- I didn’t know the words for it today but after reading the devotional that’s how I feel “ forgotten.”

    All my friends are married and on their 3rd kid and I’m still mid 30’s and single and I just feel forgotten by God.

  5. Erica R Chiarelli says:

    I will never forget ,many years ago I found this verse, probably not the 1st time but it just hit me so hard, Isaiah.49.16. It became one of my favorite verses and is to this day. He loved Israel and us, His body so much that the nail marks from the cross are always there, a constant reminder of us for Him. What a Savior!