READ: Isaiah 49:8-18
In an acceptable time I have heard You, and in the day of salvation I have helped You. —Isaiah 49:8
When I consider Your heavens,” wrote the psalmist, “what is man that You are mindful of him?” (Ps. 8:3-4). The Old Testament circles around this
question. Toiling in Egypt, the Hebrew slaves could hardly believe
Moses’ assurances that God would concern Himself with them. The writer
of Ecclesiastes phrased the question more cynically: Does anything matter?
I was entertaining that same doubt myself when I received an invitation
to address a conference on the theme: “I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands” (Isa. 49:16).
God made this stirring declaration to people suffering through a low point
in their history as Isaiah prophesies that they would be taken away
captive to Babylon. Hearing this, the people lamented, “The Lord has forsaken me, and . . . forgotten me” (Isa. 49:14). To this
lamentation God gave a series of promises—the Servant Songs (Isa.
42–53)—in which He sets the stage of hope for deliverance from hostile
enemies. He foretells of the incarnation and sacrificial death of the
Do we matter to God? Christmas memorializes God’s answer: “Behold, the
virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel”
(7:14). —Philip Yancey
Love brought Him down from the glory,
Love made Him come from the sky;
Love in His heart for the sinner
Led Him to suffer and die. —Anon.
The fact of Jesus’ coming is the final and unanswerable proof that God cares. — Barclay