Isaiah 49:15-16 are precious verses that give us hope, belief in the permanence of God and show how much God loves us. All of these things cause me to increase my gratitude for God and His tender loving care for me. Isaiah wrote these words to the people of Israel to encourage them. God had promised to punish them as a nation with captivity is Babylon if they did not return to worshipping Him and forsake their idols. Israel did not repent and spent 70 years in captivity, and yet God was faithful and remembered them. He brought them back to Israel and they did not pursue the worship of idols again.
“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.
Why are these verses precious to me today? Here are some truths contained in these verses. Let them penetrate into your heart and mind and let them create greater thankfulness within you.
God does not forget anything about me. verse 15
God has made me, my existence, a part of His being.(16)
Engraving is a permanent marking, therefore God’s love and care for me is eternal.(16)
God knows where I am at all times and is continually seeing to my protection and well-being. (16)
When I read these verses, I feel loved, cherished, valued and protected by the love and character of God. He is a promise keeper, and I can depend upon His faithfulness. May these truths cause you to be even more thankful today.
The Stream of Water for this week is all of Deuteronomy 33. In this chapter Moses delivers a blessing for each of the tribes of Israel by name. As I read through them, I marveled at the complete knowledge God has of tribe. He knew their past, present and future. He knew where their weaknesses and strengths were. We can take comfort in the fact that God knows all those things about us too. It brought to mind Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God has plans for each of us just like He did for the Israelites.
The portion of this passage that is most meaningful to me is verses 26-29. “There is no one like the God of Israel. He rides across the heavens to help you, across the skies in majestic splendor. 27 The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. He drives out the enemy before you; he cries out, ‘Destroy them!’ 28 So Israel will live in safety, prosperous Jacob in security, in a land of grain and new wine, while the heavens drop down dew. 29 How blessed you are, O Israel! Who else is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your protecting shield and your triumphant sword! Your enemies will cringe before you, and you will stomp on their backs!”
I love His message to me:26- God is my helper no matter where I am He is with me. 27- God is eternal and always supports and protects me. 28- God has my safety in mind and has new provisions for me. 29- God is my protector, defender and always has my back! These same promises can be found elsewhere in the Bible as God desires us to know that He is for us and wants us to live full, productive lives grounded and protected by in His love.
May the God of Israel show Himself to you today as He comes alongside you to love, protect, defend and support you. Trust Him as Deuteronomy 31:6 reminds us “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” God keeps His promises. Live today like you really believe it!
Daniel 2:20-23 gives Daniel’s praise to God after having received the interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Daniel and all the wise men of the kingdom were going to be killed if the meaning of the King’s dream was not revealed. Upon receiving the King’s death threat, Daniel went to his believing friends in the palace and asked them to pray concerning this mystery asking God to reveal the meaning of the King’s dream so they might be saved. Here is Daniel’s response after God revealed the dream’s meaning to him in a vision. Daniel answered and said:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. 21 He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; 22 he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. 23 To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.”
Daniel begins by praising God for who He is- the Sovereign Eternal God of the universe with all things, people and circumstances within His control. He praised God’s knowledge and wisdom and His ability to reveal things to those who love Him. He praised God’s purity, and that in Him there is no darkness. Daniel thanks God for revealing His wisdom to Him and for letting him know what the King’s dream was about, thereby saving him.
Do you know who God is? Do you praise Him for His glorious character and for how He has kept all His promises? Try incorporating praise for who God is into your prayers today. List His attributes so you can think about Him as you pray. The more we love and know God the greater our trust in Him will be.