The ancient prophet Isaiah called upon the Israelites to remember their heritage, to not forget where they came from and to whom they belonged. Their national identity deserved to be affirmed even though they were now in exile and away from home. Listen to the words of the Lord: “Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord. Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn” (Isaiah 51:1).
Israel’s heritage was worth remembering. Abraham, their “father” and Sarah their “mother” began the Jewish nation. God called Abraham even when he was alone and without children and promised him that his descendants would be a numerous as the stars in the heavens (Genesis 15:5). The prophet Isaiah said God called Abraham when he was one and made him many (Isaiah 51:2). The Lord had taken care of His nation in the good times and the bad. He had preserved them through days of oppression and exile. Could there be any doubt that He would continue to take care of them now? The Lord would surely comfort His people. The future was bright. The rock and quarry from which Israel had come had always been sustained by divine providence. What the people needed to depend upon was the providence of God that had proven itself to the nation time and again. If Israel would do this, they would be encouraged, they would be fortified to face the future.
Christians, too, need to recall the blessings of God in their lives. Never have we been forsaken by the Lord never have we been abandoned, never have we been neglected. Let us count our blessings. We are a privileged people! We have a long history with the Almighty God. In times of discomfort and distress, let us remember the rock from which we were cut and the quarry from which we were hewn. Let us depend upon the grace of God to protect us and strengthen us even in the midst of disappointment and pain. What god has ever taken care of his people like the Lord has taken care of us?
The problems we experience and the trials we go through are not as consequential as the direction we face and the One to whom we look to give us strength. Faith is still the victory that overcomes the world! God will not desert or neglect us in the time of need. No matter what we endure we still belong to Him. We are His people. He has aided us in the past; He will take care of us today as well. The rock-quarry from which we have come is full of promise, full of providence and full of peace. Because this is true we are most encouraged.