There is nothing more meaningful than for someone you barely know but met previously calls you by name when you meet them again. We honor people who can remember our names. We are amazed at people who also remember what we have said to them and ask specifically how that part of life is going for us. These are people we do not forget—because they didn’t forget us! These precious moments in time with others give us encouragement and significance in our daily lives.
God is telling us HE can be counted on to encourages us even more. When we are overwhelmed, He personally knows we need him. He calls our name because he knows our name—our names “are engraved on the palm of His Hand!” Isaiah 49:16 says, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” This proves He knows what we are going through and is always there to help us through it all! Truly, “what a Friend we have in Jesus”, our Redeemer, sent by God our Personal God, to save us!
Pause to pray, reflect, rest with assurance, be still while building God-confidence, let go of all that is holding you down, and really get to know God. We have a Personal God who is there with us, every one of us, ready to help us through the rough waters and rocky paths in this world.
“I’ll be there with you.” “You’re mine.” –God, personally speaking!
Isaiah 43, The Message
When You’re Between a Rock and a Hard Place
1-4 But now, God’s Message,
the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.
5-7 “So don’t be afraid: I’m with you.
I’ll round up all your scattered children,
pull them in from east and west.
I’ll send orders north and south:
‘Send them back.
Return my sons from distant lands,
my daughters from faraway places.
I want them back, every last one who bears my name,
every man, woman, and child
Whom I created for my glory,
yes, personally formed and made each one.’”
* * *
8-13 Get the blind and deaf out here and ready—
the blind (though there’s nothing wrong with their eyes)
and the deaf (though there’s nothing wrong with their ears).
Then get the other nations out here and ready.
Let’s see what they have to say about this,
how they account for what’s happened.
Let them present their expert witnesses
and make their case;
let them try to convince us what they say is true.
“But you are my witnesses.” God’s Decree.
“You’re my handpicked servant
So that you’ll come to know and trust me,
understand both that I am and who I am.
Previous to me there was no such thing as a god,
nor will there be after me.
I, yes I, am God.
I’m the only Savior there is.
I spoke, I saved, I told you what existed
long before these upstart gods appeared on the scene.
And you know it, you’re my witnesses,
you’re the evidence.” God’s Decree.
“Yes, I am God.
I’ve always been God
and I always will be God.
No one can take anything from me.
I make; who can unmake it?”
You Didn’t Even Do the Minimum
14-15 God, your Redeemer,
The Holy of Israel, says:
“Just for you, I will march on Babylon.
I’ll turn the tables on the Babylonians.
Instead of whooping it up,
they’ll be wailing.
I am God, your Holy One,
Creator of Israel, your King.”
16-21 This is what God says,
the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
they lie down and then can’t get up;
they’re snuffed out like so many candles:
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’
—the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided water in the desert,
rivers through the sunbaked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
the people I made especially for myself,
a people custom-made to praise me.
22-24 “But you didn’t pay a bit of attention to me, Jacob.
You so quickly tired of me, Israel.
You wouldn’t even bring sheep for offerings in worship.
You couldn’t be bothered with sacrifices.
It wasn’t that I asked that much from you.
I didn’t expect expensive presents.
But you didn’t even do the minimum—
so stingy with me, so closefisted.
Yet you haven’t been stingy with your sins.
You’ve been plenty generous with them—and I’m fed up.
25 “But I, yes I, am the one
who takes care of your sins—that’s what I do.
I don’t keep a list of your sins.
26-28 “So, make your case against me. Let’s have this out.
Make your arguments. Prove you’re in the right.
Your original ancestor started the sinning,
and everyone since has joined in.
That’s why I had to disqualify the Temple leaders,
repudiate Jacob and discredit Israel.”
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
“I AM God, you’re personal God.” “I AM with you always.” God was, is and is to come our God to all who believe and call on His Name. He is ready to give us exactly what we need when we need it.
The word translated “ransom” or “Redeemer” is the Hebrew word for “a family redeemer,” a near relative who could free family members and their property from bondage by paying their debts for them (see Lev. 25:23–28 and the Book of Ruth).
We are family! God sent His Son to earth to redeem us! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). Our response? Believe Jesus, God’s Son, redeemed us, bought us back, from the bondage of sin that held us in chains. Believe and be saved forever! Life the abundant life of Truth that never lies and never gives up on us. Truth is the Person of Jesus, Son of our Personal God.
Our Personal God is full of love, mercy, and grace! When God forgives and restores His people, He wants them to forget the failures of the past, witness for Him in the present, and claim His promises for the future (vv. 18–21). Why should we remember that which God has forgotten (v. 25)? He forgave the people, not because they brought Him sacrifices—for they had no altar in Babylon—but purely because of His mercy and grace.
Our God truly is an awesome God!
Lord, God of All,
Thank you for being a personal God who knows us, knows our name, and the One and Only who gives our lives meaning and significance. Thank you for being with us always. Thank you for constant reminders of your goodness, mercy, and grace. And thank you for forgiving our sins and remembering them no more! Help us to love like you love us—personally!
In Jesus Name, Amen