“But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’”Isaiah 43:1
Having a series of digits assigned to a name is familiar to most people. We get social security or social insurance numbers, school or work IDs, driver’s license numbers, etc. The Illinois Department of Corrections issued my Inmate Number in 2006. Since that time, it has been hard not to feel like little more than a six-digit entry in a massive database.
God uniquely created us in His own image. No two throughout all time have ever been exactly alike. Our varied faces, fingerprints, and personalities distinguish us each from the other. So when someone recognizes us by name, it is comforting… far more so than being called by a number!
In Paul’s concluding words to the church in Rome, he kindly takes the time to acknowledge by name more than 30 different friends and family members for whom he is grateful. It’s a beautiful demonstration of what it is like when someone who knows and cares about you calls you by name.
What wondrous love is this: in the Lord’s eyes we are not strangers. We are not numbers. We are known by name!
“You are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.” (Ephesians 2:19)