The God Who Cannot Forget You


Text: Isa. 49:13-16

Title: "The God Who Cannot Forget You"

Thesis: God never forgets those graven upon His Hand.

Intro: The Bible says, "Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee."

The Nation of Israel is a hard group to love. Their story in the O.T. is not a pretty picture. In fact God said to them, "I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass." (Isa. 48:4) Despite their being especially chosen of God, despite their privilege of representing the one true God to the world, despite God's continual intervention on their behalf, despite their having the presence of God in their midst, despite the many miracles performed in their presence, despite the promise of the world's Messiah coming from their loins, the Nation of Israel claimed that they were forsaken and forgotten by the Lord.

But the Bible says, "Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee."

Christian friend, you have the same privileges as the Nation of Israel, plus a hundred fold. You "know in whom you have believed,"

therefore you have a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother; you have God's promise that He will never leave you nor forsake you;

you have the Holy Spirit dwelling within; you have the completed revelation of God at your fingertips; you are a member of the family of God with all the privileges of a child of God, and you have access to the throne of grace. Truly you are blessed a hundred fold over Israel. Yet many of you sitting here this evening, in the deepest recesses of your heart, and under the heavy weight of your circum- stances, would have to admit that you have felt or are now feel forgotten by God. You would have to admit that you wonder if God even knows of your existence, and worse, if He even gives a "hoot and holler" about your circumstances. You feel forsaken and forgotten by the Lord! And if this is not your experience yesterday or today, the future is just ahead!

But the Bible says, "Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee."

And so we need to commit to memory these words of Jehovah, Israel's God, but your Father, when He promises, "Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." You need to carve these words upon the fleshly tablets of your heart, where you sin nature cannot deny them, "Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." In your darkest moments you need to strike a match to illuminate this promise of your Father, "Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee."

Isa. 49:13-16 ญญ " The God Who Cannot Forget You" ญญ prayer

I. FOUR THINGS WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET AS GOD'S PEOPLE (v13)

A. IF You Are Saved (Are you saved?), There is Joy in Serving the Lord ("be joyful")

Note: If the heavens, earth, and mountains can sing and be full of joy, can the children who have received all the benefits of the Father do less? Jesus said, "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." Luke 19:40

1. "Happiness" is found in outward circumstances

2. "Joy" is found in being at peace with God despite your circumstances. It is looking beyond your circumstances to the sure promises of God, and the victory that is already yours in Christ

In Every Circumstance, Express the Joy!

B. IF You Are Saved (Are you saved?), You Are Rooted and Grounded in the Lord

1. "Lord" = Jehovah, the eternal, ever-present God

2. Our position is all of God! ("The Lord hath")

a. The totality of our being and life springs up from our relationship to God, through Christ. All we are and have is because of Him.. This realization will help you express the joy!

"For in Him [Christ] we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His [God's] offspring." (Acts 17:28)

In Every Circumstance, Express the Joy!

In Your Darkest Hour, Appreciate Your Position!

C. IF You Are Saved (Are you saved?), What You Have Received from God

1. Comfort (past tense, though but a moment)

a. "Pity, console" The heart-felt understanding by an omniscient God of our every need

"For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted." (Heb 2:18)

In Every Circumstance, Express the Joy!

In Your Darkest Hour, Appreciate Your Position!

In Your Present Trouble, Remember the Comfort! (history)

2. Mercy (future tense: something to look forward to!)

a. Compassion/"acts of comfort/grace" (N.T. thought)

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:16)

In Every Circumstance, Express the Joy!

In Your Darkest Hour, Appreciate Your Position!

In Your Present Trouble, Remember the Comfort!

In Your Present Difficulty, Look Forward to the Mercy (future)

D. How We Are Eternally Related to God

1. "His people" (by birth)

a. Through faith in His Son

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3:26)

2. "His afflicted" (by persecution)

a. Afflicted = "a disability or distress: poverty, sickness: humble or lowly" (Not much to this world!)

Zech. 9:9 says that Christ would come as a King, yet "lowly"

1) Through a lifestyle of obedience to His Son

"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim. 3:12)

In Every Circumstance, Express the Joy!

In Your Darkest Hour, Appreciate Your Position!

In Your Present Trouble, Remember the Comfort!

In Your Present Difficulty, Look Forward to the Mercy

In the Midst of You Distress, Focus on Your Relationship

Note: Never forget that our foundation in God, our benefits from God, and our relationship to God are as unchangeable as God! But like Israel, we forget, then we complain! And Who here has not had a complaint against God?

II. THE COMPLAINT AGAINST GOD FROM HIS PEOPLE (v14)

Note: Read v8 (the purpose of the O.T.!) Despite the facts, recorded and proven in the past, which is our proof of God's provision...the people of God brought 3 complaints:

Complaint #1!

A. The People of God said, "But!"

1. "But" negates all that was said and done before

Complaint #2!

B. The People of God said, "The Lord hath forsaken me"

1. Forsaken = "to depart, to abandon, to loose"

a. A general, outward forsaking by the LORD ("Jehovah" the eternal, ever present, self-existing One)

Note: When your outward circumstances seem to deny your status as a child of God, you feel forsaken. But do you understand what they/you are saying? Forsaken by the God of of every circumstance? Forsaken by the Author of your salvation? God has never forsaken us, we have forsaken Him! Only One has God ever forsaken for any length of time, and that One was His Son when He died for you and me crying out, "My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?"

Complaint #3!

C. The People of God said, "The Lord hath forgotten me"

1. Forgotten = "Not just having a thought pass from one's consciousness, but a failure of God to fulfill His covenant to His people." As in "FORGET IT, I AIN'T DOING IT!"

a. A personal, inward forgetting by God (my "Adonai" the personal God as overseer, master)

Note: When your inward feelings seem to question whether God really remembers you in your circumstances, you feel forgotten. But do you understand what they/you are saying? You are saying that the God who cannot forget has forgotten you! You are saying that you have been forgotten by the One who became your sacrifice on Calvary! God has never forsaken nor forgotten His covenant people, and He never will!

III. A CONTRAST FROM HUMAN EXPERIENCE (v15a)

A. A Nursing Mother

1. The act that bonds a mother & child ("sucking child")

2. The act that demands day/night attention

3. The act of greatest "compassion" (meeting basic needs)

4. The act of closest identification ("son of womb")

5. So God uses the highest expression of human love

6. Possible, but highly unlikely

B. A Nurturing Father (El Shaddai = All Breasted One; God of all provision. The One who is able to nourish, supply, satisfy. Almighty, the One with the power to supply.)

1. The highest expression of love

"For thus saith the Lord, behold, I will extend peace to her [Jerusalem] like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck...As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem". (Isaiah 66:12-13)

"Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time [was] the time of love; and I spread My skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest Mine." (Eze. 16:8)

"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor. 6:11)

IV. THE COMMITMENT OF GOD TO HIS PEOPLE (v15b)

A. Something God Cannot Do!

1. Forget you!

a. Past, present, future

Note: Remember this is not just a passing thought, but a reneging on His promises. He can't do it!

"For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." (2 Cor. 1:20)

Note: Can you hear the Nation of Israel, "You SAY You won't forget us, now prove it!" God replies, "You have My Word, now here is My work!" (Thomas)

V. THE CARVING ON GOD FOR HIS PEOPLE (v16)

Note: What is this "engraving"? There is no doubt that in this context of the Nation of Israel, God is speaking anthropomorphically (attributing to God human form) of a sign of His great love for the Jewish people.

"I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands"

Prophetically, God is speaking of His coming in the flesh and His death for every sinner on the cross of Calvary, as if it had already happened. As long as you live, lost friend, you will be remembered in the engraving on Christ's hands!

"I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands"

By application to the redeemed, it is referring to the nail-prints that our Lord carries in His hands to this day as the price He paid for our sin.

A. "Graven" =

1. It means to "cut in" or "engrave" on a rock, therefore...

YOU ARE ENGRAVED ON THE ROCK!

2. It means to "portray," (to depict pictorially) therefore... YOU ARE BEING CONFORMED INTO THE LIKENESS OF CHRIST!

3. It means to "decree," therefore...

YOU ARE BEING KEPT BY THE SOVEREIGN RULER OF THE UNIVERSE!

4. It means to "inscribe," therefore...

YOU ARE INSCRIBED IN THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE!

5. It means to govern, therefore...

YOU WILL RULE AND REIGN WITH CHRIST!

B. What Can We Learn About this Engraving?

1. A visible engraving ("behold")

a. Visible to God

1) He looks at His palm and sees you

b. Visible to you

1) When Thomas saw the scars in person he cried out, "My Lord and my God,"

2) When we see them through the Word of God, we must cry out, "My Lord and my God."

2. An Engraving by God ("I have graven")

a. This is a work of God, not of man!

"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." 2 Cor. 5:19

3. A Engraving of Thee ("graven thee")

Note: Keil & Delitzsch state that this is not just your name which is engraved, but a representation of yourself, a picture. I wonder how God has pictured you?

a. A universal, corporate work

"Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Tim. 2:6)

b. A personal, individual work

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." (Gal 2:20)

1) When Christ looks at His hands, He is reminded of you. He doesn't act without thinking of you!

2) When Christ intercedes for you, He shows the Father His hands, His feet, and His side

4. A Engraving of Remembrance ("upon the palms")

a. No other portion of the human body is as open to inspection: a continual reminder: a memorial

Note: It is interesting that while the palms of Jesus' hands were used to impale Christ on the cross for the sins of the world (the highest sacrifice), the palms of the soldier's hands were used to disfigure and show disdain of Jesus Christ (the lowest degradation).

"Then did they spit in His face, and buffeted Him; and others smote Him with the palms of their hands" (Matt 26:67)

5. A Engraving of Sacrifice ("of My Hands")

a. "My hands!" It is one thing to offer someone else's hands to be scarred, but God offerred His hands!

1) Your hands carry no scars, for He gave His hands to be scarred for you!

2) Your hands carry no scars, for you have not paid a price for redemption.

6. A Engraving of Completeness ("thy walls")

a. All that encompasses your life, the boundaries of both the physical and the spiritual

"For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring". (Acts 17:28)

b. Your "walls" may seem broken and breeched down here, but before God they stand strong and secure, for the Master Builder sees the end from the beginning.

Of Job, Satan said to God, "Hast not Thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land." (Job 1:10)

Though your "hedge" is not to protect the physical, you have a spiritual hedge, for you are enclosed on all sides by the totality of the Trinity!

7. A Continual Engraving ("continually before Me")

a. In God's sight & memory

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave [them] Me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of My Father's hand." (John 10:28-29)

VI. THE ULTIMATE VICTORY OF GOD FOR HIS PEOPLE (v17)

A. God's Children Gain the Final Victory ("Thy children shall make haste")

B. God's Children's Enemies Depart

Concl: "Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee."

You may be forgotten by your friends, your family, your nation, and your world, but you will never be forgotten by your God. You have His eternal promise, "yet will I never forget you." You have His eternal seal, "I have engraven thee on the palms of My hands."

The question is, "Have you forgotten God?" Maybe a little--Maybe a lot! Have you? Are you resting in His promises through your circumstances and beyond? Or are you trusting tonight in the weak arm of the flesh to sustain you?

Every time you look at your palms, think of those scars.

Every time you think of those scars, think of your Lord.

Every time you think of your Lord, think that you are engraven on His palms.
 

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