We are honored by God

 

Day 2 – We are honored by God.

Today’s study begins with our heart verse for the week. (I call them heart verses because I am not great at memory work, and the word “memory” leaves me kicking and screaming, but I believe there are messages God leaves us in Scripture that He writes on our heart through the Spirit. We can strategically tuck these in our heart for a later date, and that is of infinite value, eternal value.)
Let’s dive in today and read Isaiah 43:1-7 in our Bibles.
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
    

he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    

I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    

and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    

and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
    

the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
    

Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
    

and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
Fear not, for I am with you;
    

I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you.
I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
    

and my daughters from the end of the earth,
 everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.”
I was in a Bible study a couple of years ago where we had to count how many times the word you or your was used in these seven verses. Try it now, it’s quite striking. How many did you get?
22 times! Yes, 22 times in these seven verses of Scripture God tells us in a multitude of ways how valued we are. I know Faith is not simply all about me and it’s important that we understand that. But when I found this passage of Scripture, my heart ached with God’s truth, in a way I had not heard or understood it before. God loves me. 
God honors me. God has called me, God has washed me. God has ransomed me. God gave Jesus in exchange for me. God says this all over Scripture, but this is the only place I have ever found that God simply says those three little words our hearts were made to long for – I love you.
Straight from the mouth of God, not wrapped up tightly in abstract theological ideas, but plain for me to see. My honor, people’s honor, the Church’s honor, whatever is honorable is held tightly by a God who loves.
*Fun fact: The Hebrew for honor in this verse (Isaiah 43:4) is niḵ·baḏ·tā, which essentially has the same definition as the Greek word we found in Philippians 4:8 and studied on day 1 –semna, meaning heavy, burdensome, weighty and/or important.

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