Thursday, January 05, 2012
Today’s Topic: Identify Me!
Today’s Text: Isaiah 56:4-5 For this is what the LORD says: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant—5to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.
Who am I?
That question plagues people. We have tried to answer it in a variety of humanistic ways, none of which has succeeded nor satisfies. We may think that educational success will identify us as a genius. We may believe that advancement in the work sector will identify us as professionals. We have been led to believe that financial security identifies us as successful. We try to be humorous believing that will identify us as popular. We labor intensely to become accepted by others so that we might identify ourselves as worthy. We spend hours developing our skill at a sport so that we might be identified as a hero. We have granted permission to people and to our performance to identify us as valuable.
That, my friend, is why our lives are broken. But God has a wonderful plan for the restoration of broken lives. It is pictured in Isaiah 56 as God proclaims His promises to the broken down nation of Israel.
- First we are changed in verses 1-2 (https://lifelinkdevo.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/humanistic-faith/).
- Then we are included in verse 3 (https://lifelinkdevo.wordpress.com/2012/01/05/include-me/).
- Then we are given an identity in verses 4-5
Here’s some background information. God is speaking directly to eunuchs. A eunuch was a slave or captive that had been castrated for two primary reasons. First, it would make them less manly, thereby making them more manageable servants. Second, it would keep them from ever procreating and becoming a threat.
The practice was so detestable to God that there were laws implements in the Jewish nation concerning it. The law excluded eunuchs from public worship, partly because mutilation was often performed in honor of a heathen god, and partly because a maimed creature of any sort was deemed unfit for the service of Yahweh. Yet during the reign of the kings of Israel there were eunuchs in the nation that served in the palace. However, no eunuch was ever able to worship in the temple, nor were they allowed to own land or inherit property. They had no identity with the nation in which they served.
It is to these men of no importance or identity that God comes in Isaiah 56 and says, “I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.” WOW! That overwhelms me. Not only does God give these broken down men a name, but He elevates them to a position that is better than a son or a daughter. He gives them an eternal identity that will never be cut off (Note the play on words).
Doesn’t that restore your hope? Can you now see what grace does? No matter how broken your life; no matter how mutilated your name is; no matter how cut off you seem to be from the rest of humanity; God will give you an eternal identity.
No longer will you have to depend on people or performance to identify you. No longer will you need to ask the question, “Who am I?” Let God tell you who you are. And if you want to know who God says you are if you are in Christ, check out these links –