At the beginning of this short passage, the prophet enlists the creation to sing the praises of God. His exhortation is based squarely upon what has come before in this chapter and is intended to encourage the Lord's people during some tumultuous times. The Lord has been faithful in the past and has promised a glorious future for His Kingdom, but everything about their current experiences seems to indicate the opposite. The northern kingdom (Israel) is crumbling or has crumbled and the divine promises appear to have failed. But notice the first two words in verse 5 in this chapter. In light of His faithfulness, He adds comfort to comfort. Not only are the people of God going to survive, but even the Gentiles will be brought in. So rightly in our text the heavens and mountains should sing. Though His hand may be heavy, it is out of love and mercy that He brings to pass what appears to be a crushing providence. In spite of what appears to be the end, the Lord is faithful and true to keep His promise and provide what is needful: a Savior. He says to His people, I will not forget you. Butâ€¦
But Zion said, "The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me." Notice what is going on here: the people are disagreeing with what God Himself has proclaimed. Now isn't this the way it often goes? The covenant people were delivered from bondage by a mighty hand, and in response they grumbled and longed to return. The Lord fulfilled His promise in every detail with the generations that followed, and they turned away and were swept off of the Land. You and I live in the time of the fulfillment of what the faithful of Isaiah's day longed for. The Lord has given us a redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, the focal point of all of the covenant promises and that Savior died so that we might live. We have to ask ourselves an important question: are we are likewise despairing in the face of God's faithfulness? Are we saying, "the Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me"? It cannot be the case that the Lord will not bring to completion what He has begun. As we read in Phil. 1:6, "â€¦he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." If you have been His, you still are His; If you would be His, you will be His from the moment you repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He will never forsake you.
Having had His faithfulness questioned, the Lord responds with a tender illustration and the illustration begins with a rhetorical question: "Can a womanâ€¦?" What tenderness and mercy the Father has for His children. He accommodates your weakness and frailty and responds to the challenge with gentleness and with the most tender illustration: the mother and her child. The devotion, self-sacrifice, and concern of a woman for her child are proverbial. Yet, as the text says, they may indeed forget their child. So the Lord, arguing from the lesser to the greater, admits that a woman may forget her child. What is possible for a human mother is impossible for God. And thus, there is great comfort, for the Lord says, "I will not forget you." Indeed, His people are engraved upon His hands. That is, our condition, our need, our circumstances are ever before Him. Our memory cannot be erased from the mind of God. If you are His, He sees you. He sees your condition. He loves you. Do not doubt that. He has not forgotten you and will not forget you. He loves His people so much, that He gave His only begotten Son, "that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." So sing with the heavens and break forth into singing with the mountains, for the Lord remembers His people: He has not forgotten you.
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