Friday, February 7, 2014

He Calls My Name

Isaiah 45:3
I will give you treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel who call you by your name.
As I began to unpack this verse there were some basic questions that jumped in my head.
1. What is going on around this verse, or what is the context of this verse?
2. Why is this verse in there?
3. What is God trying to teach me from it; the verse and the whole situation surrounding the verse?
So let's look at each of these questions. Oops, before we do, let me give you just a little background, or set the stage for you. As it tells us in Isaiah 1:1, this is the prophesy of Isaiah to the children of Israel. The book covers a huge span of time, at least a century. The people of Israel have, once again, turned away from God, and are worshiping pagan gods. They are also living in exile by the Babylonians. So that's our background.
Now let's take a look at my first question: 1. What is going on around this verse, or What is the context? In chapter 44 God shows Israel just how gracious He is. He reminds them that they are His chosen people. He goes on to say I am your God, and there is no other God beside Me. If they worship idols He tells them of all the heartache they will have. The last part of chapter 44, He tells them how He will redeem them. What grace! Do you find Him extending His grace to you like that? I sure do. So now we step into chapter 45 of Isaiah. God tells Israel that the way He is going to bring their redemption. Which also means bringing them out of exile, will be through a pagan leader, Cyrus.
Now lets look at my 2nd question: Why is this verse in there? In verse 1 of chapter 45 God has told Israel that He is going to use Cyrus the Great to bring them out of exile. I'm sure at that point there were many thinking "How! This guy doesn't even believe in You! Yet You're telling us that he is going to get us out of this mess?" So in the 2nd part of verse 1 through verse 13 God proceeds to remind the Israelites that He is Lord of All. Verse 3 is part of that, but it is also reminding them that He has "called them by name". Israel is His chosen people.
Let's look at question 3:  What is God trying to teach me through this verse, and the surrounding verses? First I want to look at the big picture. After reading much information in my husband's ESV Study Bible, (thank you honey). Here is what I think God wants me to understand. That is, He is in CONTROL of ALL things in my life. The good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent, and that He is sovereign! With those two things in mind, I need to remember, as it pertains to Healthy Eating, Exercise and Body Image, God knows what is best for me. Now I'm NOT saying being overweight and unhealthy are ok. I'm saying he knows ME! He is in control and over all. If I worked my plan this week but the pounds didn't come off like I thought they should. Trust that God is working in my life somewhere else. Maybe instead of shedding pounds, I shed hurt, and resentment this week. Those may not be physical pounds, but they sure do make me feel lighter. I'm so glad He is in control, NOT ME!
Ok, Finally! Let's look at this verse. What is God trying to teach me here?        Isaiah 45:3 I will give you treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who called you by your name.  I love how it reads from The Message Isaiah 45:3 I'll lead you to buried treasures, secret caches of valuables. Confirmation that it is, in fact, I, God, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. First of all, don't even start thinking that I believe in a prosperity gospel. What I believe in, is a God who loves his Children SO much that He can't help but pour out His love on us! He shows us His love by blessing us with things that are important to Him. What do you think some of those things are? Are they things? I don't think so! Things, Money, Worldly Possessions, are not important to God. But what about Joy, Peace, Love, Grace, Mercy. I think those are the "treasures" He gives us. What about the "hoards" or "riches in secret places"? To me those are those nuggets of truth, I find in His Word. "I am fearfully and wonderfully made", "I love you with an everlasting love" there are so many others.
The next part of this verse is so precious to me. Our God, the ruler of the universe does these things to make sure we know that it is Him working in our lives. So we don't mistake His work for someone else's.
Then the last phrase is again a reminder. He's just said, I've done all this so you don't forget that it's me, The Lord, your God. Then He says, I called you by name.  In context it's talking about Israel. But I don't think there is anything wrong with personalizing it. That's why I can say, God wants me to remember when I was lost without Him, He called me. Angie, come to me and I will give you salvation. He is still calling me today. Angie, lay down you burdens, your food issues, your life at my feet and I will give you treasures you never dreamed possible.
Is God calling your name?
Living in Grace,