Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Compassion and Possession

Isaiah 49:14-16
But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me."
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion
on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.


Comment

While in most other religions such as Islam God is viewed as relationally remote, in Christianity we say that eternal life is a relationship with God. But that expression really doesn't do justice to the intimacy inherent in that relationship. For you might have "relationships" with friends and associates, but such does not reflect the depth of relationship that God desires. As Christians God is our Father. That is not simply a title. It is a relational role. So also here we see God identifying Himself with the role of mother in his compassion for his infants.

And yet even as infants today may not be able to conceive of the feelings of empathy their parents have for them, so also with God's people. We may often feel that God has forsaken us, but the feeling is not mutual. Even on the cross while quoting Psalm 22 Jesus expressed such empathy saying, "My God My God why have you forsaken me?" This again is another difference between the Bible and Islam. For in Islam to express such things is akin to sin. Yet we in the Bible we find such godly men as David and Job struggling with such feelings.

It is because of the intimacy and commitment that God has towards his children that He takes great offense at whatever damages that relationship. To be engraved in the palms of his hands reminds of Jesus' wounds which were even present in his resurrected body. So those born of God are permanently marked in Christ with eternal security.


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