But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
- What sort of names have you been called in your life? How did you get these names?
- Did these names affect your and the way you felt or the way you saw yourself? Were any particularly hurtful or encouraging? Did it matter who it was that was calling you something?
- Were there names OK for some to use but not others? Were some names all the more special if used by certain people? Why?
- How does God call us in this passage? Why does he call us? How does he view us?
- What does it mean to you that God calls you the way that he does and values you the way we see here?
ARISE & SHINE
The names we are called can greatly affect how we see ourselves. The beauty of a passage like this is we discover that we are called by God himself. He knows us intimately and calls us each by name, and even more, he says that we are his. This is not insignificant. To call us his own comes at a price. In Jesus Christ, the price was ultimately paid on the cross to make us God’s very own people, a precious and honored people.