God’s Care For His Own

Title: God's Care For His Own

Bible Book: Isaiah 49 : 13-26

Author: Denis Lyle

Subject: Care, God's; Love, God's



In his autobiography Joseph Parker tells of a terrible blow which came into his life when his wife was suddenly taken from him after thirty four years of married bliss. He says, “On 26th January 1899 I entered my old age for a 9.30pm that evening the life of my life the heart of my heart ascended to the right hand of God.” Then Dr. Parker went on to say, “In that dark hour I became almost an atheist. How could I be otherwise, my chief joy had been taken from me. Oh, Gethsemane of darkness.” Thankfully, that dark period in Joseph Parker’s life came to an end and he became a transformed man with a new ministry and a new message. My …. have you ever felt like Joseph Parker? Have you ever felt that the Lord had forsaken you, that your God had forgotten you? Perhaps you have never said in words, but have you ever thought it in mind and heart?

Maybe some health problem has debilitated you, or some financial problem has worried you sick. Perhaps some family problem has eaten the heart out of us, or some spiritual problem has knocked the breath from us. Life has never been easy. This world is a battleground, not a playground. Christ said, “in the world ye shall tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33) A soldier was home on leave before being sent to the front lines. He visited his grandfather who was an invalid, and afflicted with a painful disease. Both the grandfather and the grandson were Christians, so they had a good time discussing spiritual matters. As he prepared to leave the boy said to his grandfather.

“Grandpa, pray for me that I’ll have the courage to die.” The old man looked through eyes that revealed the pain he was enduring and he said, “I will my son, and please pray for me that I’ll have the courage to live.” Certainly it takes courage to die, bit sometimes it takes more courage to live. When a Christian dies he goes to be with Christ, which is far better. But to live day after day, year after with pain or difficult circumstances is quite something else. I am sure that all of us have times of despondency when we feel like throwing in the towel and quitting.

I don’t know what your problems are right now, but have you come to the end of your rope? Are you at your wit’s end? Are you ready to give up? Do you feel that the Lord has forgotten you? Do you think that Lord does not care for you anymore? Has the Devil been whispering in your ear, “If the Lord really loved you this would not have happened.” I wonder were these the very sentiments that the Jews were expressing during that long and weary time of captivity in Babylon? You see, they despaired of ever seeing the land of their fathers again and so they cry out, “The Lord hat forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.” Now although the primary reference in these verses are to Israel, what is true of them in this matter, is true of every believer in Christ. So how does the Lord minister to them in this situation? How does God minister to us in our situation? Well, I want to talk to you this …. about “God’s Care for His Own.” And I want to give you three things that I trust will reassure you that He really cares for you.


Do you recall what was said of Israel when they were in captivity in Egypt? We read these words, “and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried and their cry came up to God …. and God heard their groaning.” (Exod 2:24) Now here they are in captivity in Babylon and we read “But Zion said ….”

(49:14) Do you share those sentiments this ….? Do you somehow feel that the Lord’s love for you has decreased, that His care of you has diminished? You know from a distance the Lord might seem small to you and the problems that you face much larger than they really are? I wonder have you become despondent, because you have allowed your problems to eclipse God? “But Zion said ….,” You see, sometimes we feel this way in times of,


Here were the Lord’s despondent because of a long captivity. The days jut seemed to drag on endlessly for these captives in Babylon. These days turned into months, into years, into decades and with the utmost straining not gleam of light could be seen in the nations sky. And now they begin to complain not “to God,” but “of God.” “The Lord hath forsaken me and my Lord hath forgotten me.” Is this not how Naomi felt? Her name means “pleasant,” or “pleasantness,” which suggest that she had an attractive disposition. She had been pleasant to know and be around, but backsliding had changed all that. Down in Moab, she had lost her husband and her two sons. And when she finally arrived back in Bethlehem the folk hardly recognized her at all.

They said, “is this Naomi?” (Ruth 1:19) Do you recall what she said? “Call me not Naomi, call me Mara for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.” (1:20) Do you see what she was doing? She was blaming the Lord for her sad state. Is it not amazing how people blame the Lord for the trouble they bring on themselves? Naomi was saying in effect, “The Lord hath forsaken me and my Lord hath forgotten me.” What a contrast David was to Naomi. Do you recall what he wrote? “I have been young and now am old yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.” (Ps 37:25) Do you see what he is saying? The Lord is with us all the way. When David was young, the Lord was with him and helped kill the giant. When David became old, the Lord was still there and helped him stabilize the kingdom and prepare for the building of the temple. And now as he looks back at his stormy life he came to this conclusion …. God had been with him all the way. Now who do you feel like this ….? Naomi or David? Do you feel that the Lord has forsaken you or that the Lord is with you? My …. So often when trial comes on trial and the waves and billows of affliction go over our soul and like old Jacob all things seem to be against us (Gen 42:36) sometimes we look up to heaven and cry, “Has God forsaken us?” Is that where you are this ….? Has bereavement, unemployment, family tension, serious illness, financial worry, wrung from your heart the cry, “does Jesus care? Has the Lord forsaken me?”

May was a keen Christian with three children, two girls and a boy who was mentally and physically handicapped. May took seriously ill and she had to go undergo severe treatment. You can imagine her presence out a little country home presented serious problems. One day in hospital, when I cam in to visit she was as low emotionally as I had seen her. She simply said, “ Denis I just wonder has the Lord forsaken me?” (a)


Back to Babylon. Why were they in captivity anyhow? Because of their sin. You see, Judah found a strange fascination with the idols of the pagan nations around them. (2 Kings 23:3-5 25:4) Nothing could cure it. Now Babylon was the center of idol worship. So when God allowed them to be taken into captivity, He was sending them into the capital city of idolatry and for seventy years (Jer 25:11) they experienced these idols that they wanted to serve. I want to tell you that after their years of captivity in Babylon they had no more desire for idol worship and to this day the Jewish people only worship one God, Jehovah. You see this was not only a time of (a) (b) and in that state they cry out, “the Lord …. me.” Do you know the experience? My …. is it not true that when we are out of sorts spiritually, when our heart is cold toward the Lord these words have been on our lips?

Maybe you’ve come to the place of worship with your fellow-Christians and you’ve seen them joyful, the Word of the Lord has been precious to them, but you could not feed on it, or get a glimpse of your Savior? Have you ever gone from this place saying, “the Lord …. me.”


The sentiments that are expressed in (49:4) become ours. “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught.” Lack of success, lack of fruit, lack of effectiveness in our service for the Lord and we say, “What is this all about? Has the Lord forsaken me?”

My …. does this sum you up this ….? Is this how you feel? Do you feel that because adversity has crossed your pathway that God does not care? Do you think that because you’ve been unfruitful in the field of evangelism that the Lord is not interested? Do you believe that because your prayers have not been answered that the Lord has forsaken you? One thing is sure, if you are here this ….


We have seen Israel’s assertion (49:14) but look at God’s assertion (49:15) How does the Lord counteract such emotions, doubts, feelings in the hearts of His people? He reminds our hearts of the constancy of His love. You see, the Lord wants to comfort and strengthen all the mourning, depressed, fearful, doubting, sighing saints in the family of God. But how does He do it? In effect He says to them, “ You think that I have forgotten you, can a woman forget her sucking child ….?” Now its not likely that she would for think of,


What kind of love does a mother have for her children? Surely there is no love in this world like a mother’s love. A Mother’s love is Sacrificial, our mothers fed us, sustained us, protected us before we ever saw the light of day. Do you know anyone else who loves you enough to carry you around for nine months? Young folk, this …. do you realize the sacrifices your mother makes for you? She sacrifices her time, energy, money, anything for you’re more precious to her than gold. A Mother’s love is Natural, you see, you cannot account for it and you cannot change it. You would have to break a mother’s heart before you can change her love to her child. Is a mother’s love not Full? Does a mother not love with all his heart? Is a mother’s love not Unchanging? A son may leave his parents home and cross the world and work in a foreign land and when he comes home he finds his old mother has changed. Her hair is grey, her brow is furrowed with age but when she hugs him he knows that her love is still the same.

Solomon Rosenberg his wife and their two sons, his mother and father were arrested and placed in a Nazi concentration camp. It was a labour camp and the rules were simple, “As you long as you can do your work you are permitted to live. When you become to weak to do your work then you are exterminated.” Rosenberg watched his father and mother marched off to their deaths, and he knew that next would be his younger son David who had always been a weak child. Even evening Rosenberg came back into the barracks after his hours of labor and searched for the faces of his family. When he found them, they would huddle together, embrace one another and thank God for another day of life. One day Rosenberg came back and did not see those familiar faces. He finally discovered his oldest son, Joshua is a corner, huddled, weeping and praying. He said, “Josh tell me its not true.” Joshua turned and said, “It is true Poppa. Today David was not strong enough to do his work so they came for him.” “But where is your Mother?” “Oh,” Poppa he said, “when they came for David he was afraid and he cried.” Momma said, “there is nothing to be afraid of David and she took him by the hand and went with him.” Oh, the sacrifice of a mother’s love. We would never question (a) but we would assert,


For the Lord says, “Can a woman …. thee.” Do you see the stark contrast? On the one hand we have the wavering mother, on the other the unwavering God. On the one side we see the changing mother who may be so ill, depressed, unnatural as to have no compassion on her child. (Deut 28:57) But on the other side we see the unchanging God whose love to us exceeds that of the tenderest parents to their children. My …. is a mother’s love sacrificial? Then the Lord’s love is more sacrificial.

For God “spared not His Son but delivered Him for us all.” (Rom 8:32) Is a mother’s love natural? Then God’s love is more natural for it is a love engrained inn His very nature. The Bible says, “God is love.” Is a mother’s full? Then God’s love is more full, more satisfying, more unbounded. My …. how can God forget those whom He fully loves? And if the Lord fully loves you He has not forgotten you ! Is a mother’s love unchanging? I tell you far more unchanging is God’s love for you. He says, “I am the Lord I change not.”

(Mal 3:6) My …. the Lord that loves you this …. has no variableness. (James 1:17) Do you know what that means? It means that God can never change. How can His love change? The God who has loved you with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3) loves you as much now as He did then. A mother’s love is great, but God’s love is greater. A mother may forget her sucking child but the Lord will never forget you for His love is constant, faithful and unchanging.

What a comfort this is to those of you are downcast, doubting and depressed. Do you think that God has dealt bitterly with you? That providence has dealt you a hard blow? Do you somehow feel that the Lord has forgotten you? Do you not realize that at the very time you’re saying, “My Lord has forgotten me,” at that moment God is saying, “I will not forget you for my love is constant.”


Israel’s hopes had been dashed. They were in captivity in Babylon. They despaired of ever seeing their land again. They cried out, “the Lord …. me.” But God says “No, I will not forget thee,” then He gives a reason, “Behold I have graven thee …. hands.” The nation is on the palms of His hands and Jerusalem’s walls are ever before His eyes. Now the palms are tenderest part and the place to which God looks. Do you what this suggests to me? That God’s care and remembrance of us,


Do you know what they used to do in the olden days? They tied a piece of cord around the hand or a thread around the finger and that would help to remember. Of course the cord might snap and the matter would be forgotten. But the hand and that which is printed into it will never be forgotten, it will always be remembered.

My …. have you grasp this encouraging truth? That by day and night the Lord is always thinking of you. From the beginning of the year until the end of the year the Lord’s eye is ever upon you. God’s care for you is not occasional but continual ! When we go through the fire He is there as He was with the three Hebrew children. When we go through the waters He is there, as He was with the disciples on the storm tossed lake. Indeed, when we go through the valley of the shadow of death, He will be with us, for He said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” (Heb 13:5-6) Now your remembrance of God is intermittent. Do you think of the Lord this …. When you got up? Are you trying to think of the Lord now? Perhaps again this evening. We come to remember the Lord in the Breaking of Bread, but that’s just for a short time but God never ceases to remember you. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that comforting? Isn’t that encouraging?

“Never a heartache, and never a groan

Never a teardrop and never a moan

Never a danger but there on the throne

Moment by moment He thinks of His own.”

A city fellow was amazed when the farmer gave a whistle and the dog herded the cattle into the coral, then closed the gate with her paw. “Wow, that’s some dog. What’s her name?” The forgetful farmer thought for a moment and then asked, “what do you call that red flower that smells good and has thorns on the stem?”

“A rose.” The farmer turned to his wife and said, “Hey Rose what do you call that dog?” Good memory is a marvelous thing and God remembers us when we feel forsaken and forgotten for His care and remembrance (a)


Do you think that anyone can erase what is written on God’s hands? The Lord Jesus referring to His sheep said, “Neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” (Jn 10:28) Some say we can “slip out,” but how can we slip out if we are permanently and deeply cut into the tender part of His hands with marks of love.

My …. its impossible that any thing whether it be “death, life, angels, principalities or powers, things present or things to come,” (Rom 8:28) should be able to reach the palms of God’s hands so as to erase our names.

“My name from the palms of His hands

Eternity will not erase

Impressed on His heart it remains

In marks of indelible grace

Yes, I to the end shall endure

As sure as the earnest is given

More happy but more secure

The glorified saints in heaven.”

Does that not comfort you? Does His eternal love not thrill you? How could God forsake you when He knew you long before you knew yourself?


For when God would meets Israel’s great doubt, “the Lord …. me,” He cheers her with this, “I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands.” Not just a sketch of you. No ! All of you ! Your face, your frame, your fingers, your feet, you fears, everything that goes to make up you ! “I have graven …. hands.” The place where he can close His hand and all the power and might of God will be around you.

“Forget thee I will not I cannot thy name

Engraved on my heart doth for ever remain

The palms of my hands which I look on I see

The wounds I received when suffering for thee.”

Do you feel that the Lord has forgotten you? Listen,

The Lord Recognizes you, He Reminds you, He Remembers you !

“Arise my soul arise shake off thy guilty fears

The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears

Before the throne my Surety stands

My name is written on His hands.”

Can you hear the Savior say to you now? “ I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.”

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