Our Daily Bread Devotional For May 17, 2023 : Topic – God Remembers Names
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Bible in a Year:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
Today’s Scripture : Isaiah 43:1–7
God warned the Israelites that He’d use foreign armies to discipline them for their covenantal unfaithfulness. In 722 bc, the Assyrians destroyed Samaria, and the Northern Kingdom of Israel was exiled (see Isaiah 7:18–25; 10:3–6; 2 Kings 17:6–24). In 586 bc, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians and the Southern Kingdom of Judah was exiled (see Isaiah 39:6–7; 2 Kings 20:12–19). Despite God’s harsh and severe discipline, God reminded the Israelites that as His chosen people they had an unbreakable bond with Him and assured them of His unfailing love: “You are precious and honored in my sight, and . . . I love you” (Isaiah 43:4). God’s discipline isn’t inconsistent with His love: “The Lord disciplines those he loves” (Proverbs 3:12; see Job 5:17; Hebrews 12:5–6). Though His people remained unfaithful and unrepentant, God in His mercy had purposed to forgive them of their sins (Isaiah 43:22–25).
Message : The Sunday after I’d started working as a youth leader at a church and had met several of the young people, I spoke to a teen seated next to her mom. As I greeted the shy girl with a smile, I said her name and asked how she was doing. She lifted her head and her beautiful brown eyes widened. She too smiled and said in a small voice: “You remembered my name.” By simply calling that young girl by name—a girl who may have felt insignificant in a church filled with adults—I began a relationship of trust. She felt seen and valued.
In Isaiah 43, God is using the prophet Isaiah to convey a similar message to the Israelites: they were seen and valued. Even through captivity and time in the wilderness, God saw them and knew them “by name” (v. 1). They were not strangers; they belonged to Him. Even though they may have felt abandoned, they were “precious,” and His “love” was with them (v. 4). And along with the reminder that God knew them by name, He shared all that He would do for them, especially during trying times. When they went through trials, He would be with them (v. 2). They didn’t need to be afraid or worried since God remembered their names.
God knows each of His children’s names—and that’s good news, especially as we pass through the deep, difficult waters in life.
Reflect & Pray
What trials are you facing these days? How can focusing on the fact that God knows you by name help you walk through trying times with confidence?
Thank You for knowing me by name, dear God.