"You Are Mine!"

By: Justin Bratnober

Isaiah 43:1

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.”


My friend Bob told me a story about a young guy he met at a conference several years ago. The two had struck up a conversation during a break time and decided to go out for lunch to get better acquainted. As they were leaving, they shook hands and exchanged names. Bob understood his new friend to say that his name was Leif. "Oh," Bob said, "I'm from Minnesota. That's the land of 10,000 lakes and nearly a million Norwegians! Do you know anyone or have any family there?" At that, the young man's expression changed. With a look of embarrassment and a tone of disappointment, he replied, "No. My name is spelled L-e-a-f. You know…like the trees. I'm from Colorado. My parents were hippies."

Bob had a chuckle over that. He quickly realized the implication that names, naming, and the use of names has. In scripture, it is a very serious business. From the start, God named each of his works in creation and called upon Adam to do the same. Entire chapters are devoted to them. Commands are given concerning them. It's hard to find even a reference to anyone in scripture without the mention of a name.

Our names, the names we give to one another, and how we refer to one another and to God really matter. This week's verse makes another important point relative to our personal relationship with the Lord and our identity in him. God indeed knew Jacob and his people Israel and he knew them each by name.

"I have called you by name!" God declares to his people, "You are mine!"


TAKE THE CHALLENGE: What word or name would have best described you before you found your identity in the Lord? Which best describes you now?