Has God forgotten me? Is there any hope for me?
That’s what the Jewish exiles would feel, far from home, captives in a foreign land.
They cried out,
The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me. (14)
And sometimes we feel the same way, abandoned by God and without hope. But what does God say?
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. (15-16)
In other words, it’s unthinkable that a mother could forget the baby nursing on her breast. It’s almost unfathomable that a mother could fail to have compassion on her child. Yet in this broken world, we do see mothers who have abandoned the children they have borne, and cast aside the children they have nursed and cared for.
But God says, “Even if that were to happen to the closest of human bonds, I will not do that with you. My love runs deeper than a mother’s love. I will never forget you; I will never abandon you.”
God then told the Israelites that he would restore their nation, and that though they had lost hope, he would stun them with all the blessings he would pour into their lives. And when he did,
Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed. (23)
Know that I am the Lord. Do we really know that? We all say we believe in God. But do our lives show that? Do we show trust in his promises? Do we believe that he holds our future? Do we believe that he will do as he has said? And do we trust him enough to obey him when things seem hopeless?
Those who hope in me will not be disappointed. Where are we placing our hope? Do we even have hope? God says if we’ll just hope in him, trust him, and obey him, we will not be disappointed.
Sometimes we hesitate to trust and obey God because we are afraid we’ll be disappointed. “What happens if I obey and nothing happens? Or if I obey and things grow worse?” But God promises here that we will not be disappointed. He will not let us down. The only question is, “Do we believe it? And are we willing to wait in hope until he comes?”
How about you? Do you feel forgotten? Forsaken? Without hope? God hasn’t forgotten you. He will never forsake you. And he is the giver of hope to those who turn to him. Trust him. Hope in him. Do as he says. And I promise you: You will not be disappointed.