Beloved: The story of being chosen

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Day 3 – Beloved: The story of being chosen

Today we are going to turn one page in our Bibles and go to Isaiah 44. We will be all over the place in the book of Isaiah during our study. The book itself is not linear, that is, it’s not chronological. Isaiah doesn’t take us through a timeline of history like some books do. When you start at Isaiah Chapter One and read through, it’s beautiful, but it won’t go from A to B to C. My study Bible tells me that the book of Isaiah covers at least 200 years of Old Testament History, circling in and around and back again on itself. The message of Isaiah isn’t a narrative as much as it is a call and response of God to His people and His people to God. It is the message of Salvation played out again and again, preparing the way for Christ to come and save us, once and for all time.

Let’s read Isaiah 44:1-5 –
 “But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!
Thus says the Lord who made you,
who formed you from the womb and will help you:
Fear not, O Jacob my servant,
Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
They shall spring up among the grass
like willows by flowing streams.
This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s,’
another will call on the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
and name himself by the name of Israel.”

Part of the message of being loved is the message of being chosen.

Think of all the love stories you’ve watched play out on the screen. Girl loves boy. Boy isn’t sure and is really preoccupied in life with something else. Girl does something or something happens to girl. Boy realizes he is missing out. Boy chooses girl. Love songs play and hearts take flight on the screen.

Or think of every young girl’s longing for a best friend.

Think of every middle schooler’s desire to be picked anything but last in gym class.

We want to be chosen. Being chosen is very often how we understand being loved.

Isaiah 44:1-5 gives us a beautiful picture of God’s love that chooses us.

Israel whom I have chosen!” (v. 1)

The Bible teaches us that as gentiles, in Christ, and in God’s covenant of love for all nations, we are chosen.

1 Peter 2:9-10 proclaims this promise clearly –

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Does this sound a tad familiar? If you were with us for yesterday’s study you may recall the language of verse 10 – not a people, now a people; without mercy, now receiving mercy – from the passages. This is how God’s Word works, ever weaving His love and promises into one another and into our lives.

What other promises can you find that speak of God’s love and His choosing in Isaiah 44:1-5 above?

Take a minute to look before you go further. I’ll list a few below, for when you’re ready.

We are formed lovingly by His hands.

We are helped. (v. 2)

Our fears are lifted.

We have been filled.

Our thirst for Life and goodness and mercy and justice has been quenched with the Spirit.

We are blessed, our children are blessed. We know Christ in our lives and His forgiveness. (v. 3)

We are raised up. (v. 4)

His name is written on our hands. We are His. (v. 5)

We are not drained, sisters. We are filled.

How often have you been exhausted and need the promise of the Lord’s love to fill you and sustain you? Weariness, you may come, but you may not reign in our lives.

We are “The Lord’s!”

We are not forsaken. Our children are not forsaken. We are baptized believer’s of the Bright Morning Star. We rest in the promise of His salvation. His name is written on our forehead and our heart.

We are “The Lord’s!”

We are not orphaned. We are greatly loved. We are made and formed from the womb. Planned before the dawn of time.

We are “The Lord’s!”

Write it on your hand today, literally. Bring back fond adolescent memories by taking ink to skin. Write something more important than the homework due next Tuesday. Let your children and your friends ask about it. Write it large or write it in tiny script.

The Lord’s!”

This is your story of being chosen.

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If you feel so inclined, we’d love to see your hand, kiddos hands, chosen hands! Upload a photo in the comments section or share on social media today and tag #ilovemyshepherd and #HeCallsMeLoved

14 thoughts on “Beloved: The story of being chosen”

  1. I marked my hand: “the LORD’s” but wasn’t able to figure out how to post the photo. This may give you a clue that I’m one of those “older” folks who’s not well-experienced in the finer details of electronic communications. You’d be right! I can, however, share a description of my inked hand, and some of the thoughts that came to me through today’s verses. I wrote with a ballpoint pen on my right hand. I chose to write on my right hand for a number of reasons. As a right-handed person, I DO most of what I do with that hand; I want all my doings and works to be controlled by the LORD. Having needed to write on my right hand with my left hand, the letters aren’t the best, and the overall effect is somewhat shaky. So the LORD empowers me in my weakness and gives success to my feeble efforts. Speaking of feeble, because of an on-going neurological issue, my right side is the side that doesn’t work the way it should — especially my right leg, for walking. So again, what’s supposed to be my dominant side is impaired. And again, the LORD protects and empowers me in my weakness. Then there’s the age factor which I touched on briefly before. In the photo which I was able to take but not able to post, the skin of my hand is kind of
    crepe-y/wrinkly, and there are a few of those horrid age spots we used to hear about in TV commercials for creams that promised to minimize them. Following up thinking about being older, in my mind I circled back around to the verses from chapter 43 of yesterday. Those verses are the source for a hymn I memorized back when I was in 6th grade in Lutheran Day School. It’s #728 in LSB, “How Firm a Foundation.” I’m pretty sure there were more than just 5 verses in the old Lutheran Hymnal; for example, one about going through the deep waters. I remember it as a long hymn to memorize, but – whoa! I remember it! The last verse (in the new version) reads, “Throughout all their lifetime My people will prove My sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love; And then, when gray hairs will their temples adorn, Like lambs they will still in My bosom be borne.” My husband insists I refer to my hair as “silver” (not gray)! Chosen we are, and carried in and by the love of our LORD and Savior from before we are born until He brings us home to Him again for eternity. Little hands (how blest I am to see and hold the hands of our dear grand’s –the “offspring” and “descendants” reference of 44.3b), big hands, soft hands, rough and work-worn hands, smooth hands, wrinkly hands. They — and we — are all His. And
    1 Peter 2 tells us for what purpose we have been chosen and made holy by Him: “that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Hope these thoughts and words bring encouragement and empowerment for you — whatever your age — to get those hands, and mouths, and lives out there in service to Him who has chosen you for His unique and special purpose! Yes!

    1. Oh Jan! You gave me the giggles (age spots and as seen on tv)! But there is so much good truth as well! Everything you connected to writing on your right hand- really thought provoking, from your personal neurological issues and trust to the hand God sees as beautiful when we don’t. I am also now going to embrace the silver of my hair! Praise the Lord -for you,beloved sister in Christ!

  2. I just love this section of Isaiah! I love the reminder that God has chosen me. I was born into a lost and barren land and he chose me to bring into his family. I mean really, how cool is that?!? 🙂

    I love too the promise that my children have been chosen. When the kids were young somewhere along the line I heard another mom tell her daughter to remember her baptism. I really liked the idea of reminding the kids so I started to say the same thing. At first, it was kind of something I said but as the years went by it became more and more meaningful. Remember, you are God’s child. He picked YOU! He loves YOU! It’s good to be reminded of that fact.

    1. I bet you telling them that worked in ways you don’t even know. Sometimes I think our words, or sharing His Word, gives untold strength we’ll never really understand. Remembering my baptism from your thoughts! Thank you for sharing, Steph!

  3. ‘Being chosen is very often how we understand being loved.’ This thought just caught me right where I was today and as I did this study in a split-shift before and after work, I got to think about it all day. It gave my eyes an adjustment and changed my perspective. I am His and He is mine…Oh how LOVED I am!

  4. I am a day or two behind in the study, but that’s just me being late. I’ve finally come to accept it. 🙂 Anyway, in reading the part about being chosen last in gym class…I was usually chosen somewhere in the middle, but my heart always went out to those girls chosen last. They looked sad, embarrassed, like they wanted to hide. One day I was chosen to be the team captain. I didn’t and still don’t care much for sports, but I thought, here’s my chance to make a difference! So, I chose the ones that were normally picked last, first! Their faces lit up, they lifted their chins, and I had the absolute worst team ever, although we all tried very hard to win. I knew I would never be team captain again, even the teacher was rather disgusted with me, thinking how stupid I must be, but I didn’t care, it was worth it to see the looks of joy on those girls’ faces. The joy and love we feel when we find out that our Lord chose us, not just for one game, but to belong to his family forever, is a joy beyond understanding! We must go and tell others that Jesus chooses them, too!

    1. That’s awesome! Those girls probably likely never forgot the day they actually got chosen for something. And No worries! There’s no “behind”, just do it as you can.😊

    2. I just wanted to interject to Kris………Good for you, Girl, for choosing the girls you did for your team! Yea, for you!! And, shame on your teacher for not realizing what you had done and complimented you on doing that…….God was on your side, and your team, even though you might not have won your game(s).

  5. Being chosen before …..wow, is mind blowing because I’ve often felt unwanted, invisible , unworthy and incompetent, I don’t know people live life without Fathers love. He is ours dear sisters and we, you, you and you are His!💓

    Kris, I chose those people first as often as I can as often as I out on Fathers’ lens’ because I was one of them.
    And We pray, God send us forth , change our perspective, have us be your hands and feet, to search them out and then rest our eyes, attention and care often for these your dear , dear children. Amen.

  6. 1 Peter 2:9 is my confirmation verse! Whenever I read the verse, I am reminded that I was chosen by God. This theme was a good one to have right after hearing “I love you” from God. Even though I am a little behind, I am really enjoying studying Isaiah. It’s been a long time since I’ve read and studied Isaiah. It is nice to go back to it and notice things that I hadn’t before.

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