“Listen to Me, O house of Jacob,
And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
Who have been upheld by Me from birth,
Who have been carried from the womb:
Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.”
We think of God as “Father,” and that is an image that He gives to us throughout the Scriptures. But we can’t take out a box with the label “Father” on it and put Him in it. Although He obviously wants us to think of Him as “Father,” that’s not all there is.
In this passage from Isaiah, Yahweh uses maternal images…childbearing…bringing forth Israel from the womb. And, indeed, from the ‘womb’ of Egypt until the time of Isaiah’s prophecy, Yahweh has brought them forth and carried them as a child, and will do so until the end.
I doubt that there is a mother among us who has not had to look at her suffering child in her arms or on a bed. That child doesn’t know what’s wrong. It doesn’t know why it hurts. That child is writhing in pain and all it wants is for it to stop. In the torment of her soul that mother looks down and thinks or says “I am sorry. I cannot help you.” Most of the time that mother knows that it’s going to be OK. Sometimes she doesn’t.
O Christian, do you realize that every single one of us was that child? Every single one of us was writhing in the sin-sickness of our souls. Writhing in the pain of being alone in the world and without Christ…and we didn’t know it. When Yahweh says:
“Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted,
Who are far from righteousness”
…that was us.
But when He looked down upon us, as we knew not what was wrong, understood not why we hurt, andwe were powerless to make it stop…as He looked down on us, He was able to say “I will deliver you.”
He says it to us in broken bread and poured-out wine.
Rejoicing in the Lord…because we can.