You are never forsaken

Have you ever loaned out a book and never received it back? Or maybe you’ve been on the other end and stopped borrowing books from friends because a borrowed book is as good as lost in your house? What is it with loaned books? We return them to the library, but if a friend loans us a book it suddenly goes MIA overnight. I have been on both the receiving and the losing end of this strange book conundrum.

I have one book I loan out like candy. I hand it out like a grandma hands out butterscotch candies, just waiting for their rightful recipient in the bottom of her purse for a good three years. I don’t honestly care if I ever get this particular book back, it’s that important to me that people read it. (Shhhhh. Don’t tell anyone. It’ll be our secret.) I may keep Amazon in business with the number of copies I have bought and “lost” to people over the years. But in the end, who cares. The message of this book for me was so powerful, that I press it on people,

“You must read it.”

“It’s life changing.”

“Let me send it to you.”

What was the message? The same as our passage in Isaiah for today. Please read Isaiah 62:12.

And they shall be called The Holy People,
    The Redeemed of the Lord;
and you shall be called Sought Out,
    A City Not Forsaken.

Circle the titles listed below in your Bible, if you have it out.

Holy
Redeemed
Sought Out
Not Forsaken

My book, mentioned earlier, is a historical retelling of the message, life, and writings of the prophet Hosea, a contemporary of the prophet Isaiah. Their messages overlap and are in concordance with one another, but just as each of us have a different testimony of Christ written through our lives, so does the work and words of each prophet. It’s helpful to dig into them side by side when we get the opportunity.

Hosea has something to say about Sought Out. My personal opinion is that His message of sought out, of not forsaken, is stronger than any other Biblical book. But maybe that’s just because my book found me at just the right place, at the right time, with the message I needed to know more than any other:

You are sought out.
You are not forsaken.

You see, this is the message of redemption, of the Holy One not only coming to us in His Son and His Word, but seeking us out, searching our hearts and our lives until He gets ahold of us, literally chasing us down with His Son and His Word.

Read the following verses from Hosea to piece together his story. Rather, it’s the story of his family and God’s great forgiveness working in all of it:

Hosea 1:2-3

Hosea 3:1-3

Hosea 6:1-3

Sometimes, I need to know that at my worst, I am sought out. This message…this, is what brings me up from the ash heap. It brings me back from ugly sin and creating messes wherever I travel. It finally shuts my mouth when words are flying left and right and edification is far from my heart and mind. While we were still sinners, Christ Jesus died for us. He died for me and you and Gomer and Israel, at our worst.

Read Isaiah 62:12 again, adding 63:1 this time. Remember, there’s no chapter and verse numbers in the original Hebrew. It is a fluid passage.

And they shall be called The Holy People,
    The Redeemed of the Lord;
and you shall be called Sought Out,
    A City Not Forsaken.

Who is this who comes from Edom,
    in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
he who is splendid in his apparel,
    marching in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, speaking in righteousness,
    mighty to save.”

Mighty to Save.

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

1 Timothy 1:15

Mighty to seek. Mighty to Save.

You are Sought Out is the message that you are worthy of saving, worthy of seeking, finding, and showering with Grace, not because you look like you have it together, but because you don’t.

Hosea loved in the hardest circumstances, in unimaginable grace and mercy, he sought out his wife because she was precious to him, because God seeks in places you and I wouldn’t even think of it going.

He is mighty to save.

You are Sought Out.

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Exploration:

In our culture, “I’m not worthwhile” or “I’m not enough” is a difficult lie of Satan for people to overcome. What message would you share with a friend struggling with not being good enough for Jesus? (May I suggest sharing our image for today as a message of hope, online or privately?)
What “least of these” people do you have a heart for?
When has God ministered to you and sought you out or hunted you down to show you His grace?

sought-out

Sought Out Scripture Engagement Tool

*My book = Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, check it out at your local library

7 thoughts on “You are never forsaken”

  1. Heidi, when you said “literally chasing us down”, Psalm 23 verse 6 immediately came to my mind.
    “Surely goodness and love will follow (pursue) me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” I will never forget when I was told in a Bible study the word, follow, literally means pursue, it put an entirely new light on this passage for me. When I think of follow, I often picture sheep just aimlessly following along, not paying full attention, but the fact God’s goodness and love are pursuing me, fills me with an unexplainable joy!

    1. Thank you, Darlene, for telling us this, I had never known or heard of the following me as pursuing me. This has made me feel better.

  2. The message I would share is God created you. He loves you so much that He sent His Son Jesus to redeem you so you could be His forever!

    I have a heart for people that are new to a situation. Between college and seminary and calls and jobs and kids growing, I have been new several times. Others don’t always think about what it’s like for new people, what they don’t know.

    I also have a heart for those who have lost children, especially newborns, since I also have.

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