In today’s passage Isaiah 43:1, God said fear not, for you are Mine. The History of Redemption is a story where God comes and find His people to have that Father and son spiritual relationship. Adam’s act of disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit was a rejection of that relationship with God for an eternity. Therefore redemption is a restoration of that relationship with God. What Jesus did when He came to this earth is to restore that relationship and to walk with us again, to make us His children and make us His bride again (John 17:5-12). In Luke 19:10, Jesus is saying, for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
All mankind is seeking for love. We are designed to receive God’s amazing agape love.
1. Relationship is walking with God
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve received plenty of that love, they were walking with God in the Garden of Eden, that “walking” is a relationship language. When Adam committed sin, God called out to him knowing Adam was not where he was supposed to be. This is a chance for Adam to realise what he is doing and where he should be (Genesis 3:9). Ecclesiastes 3:11 says God put eternity in our hearts, that is why nothing can satisfy us. The reason why Jesus came is to find sinners and love us even in our weakness. Only His love and comfort and satisfy us.
2. Relationship is “knowing” in Hebrew יָדַע (yâda), ‘and in Greek γῐνώσκω (ginṓskō)
Hosea 6 say I want you to know Me as I know you. This knowing is not just a recognition of name or person in the head, but it is coming to know God in this spiritual relationship (Psalm 34:8). A relationship begins with knowing, which leads us to believing and faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Jesus says in John 16:9, sin is not believing in Him and eternal life is knowing Jesus Christ (John 17:3). The problem of building relationship with God is that we often claim to know God and want to know Him without giving much. In committing oneself in relationship, it is giving one’s heart.
3. We need to learn to accept and be accepted, to restore the relationship
We need to receive that truth about ourselves, about God, that we are sinners who need salvation (John 1:17). Jesus came in grace and truth. However people did not accept that truth. Truth in Greek is αλήθεια (alítheia) means it is fact, something that is not hiding. The Bible is about God revealing the truth to us, because we have fallen and cannot see God. We have a tendency to hide and reject that truth. Jesus came to these exact people who are hiding away from the truth and the light of God’s presence (John 1:11-14). Jesus’ restoration work is a recreation and rebuilding of a relationship lost in the Garden of Eden. He recreates mankind, now the church, to become the new Adam and Eve.
4. The result of restoration
Jesus came down. It is God who came down to restore that relationship. He says I want to know you. I in you and you in Me. As a result of that restoration, through the cross, the restored relationship allows us to go out confidently and with hope. When we are filled with God, we are able to give love, rather than seeking for other people’s love and care. What a beautiful thing and satisfying thing when we are able to give that love. Evangelism will become natural and enjoyable. When you experience something so amazing and so good, it is difficult for you to contain that and not tell anyone about that. We might be working so hard, doing all the good things, but if we do not have Jesus in us, there cannot be that perfect wholeness and completeness. If we come into a relationship with Jesus, there will be healing in our heart, soul and spirits and bodies.
The beast’s number is 666 which represents the number of mankind living as beasts, forgetting about their spirituality, forgetting their relationship with God, and the only end will be destruction as Psalm 49:20. We need to add Jesus on top of that, and may Jesus make our whole soul, body and spirit 777.
In this family story, it is the story about our Father and His Son and His children. May you and I all become His children and the main characters of this story. When Jesus comes to find us and calls upon our names, may you and I be able to answer Him and say “Here I am Lord”. Here I am, is הִנֵּֽנִי (hinneh), which means behold. He knows our weakness and shames. Let us not hide to our God. In the Bible, there were people (Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Isaiah) who were able to see through ups and downs and receive God’s salvation and redemption and they finally admitted “God here I am.” (Genesis 22:11, Genesis 31:11, Genesis 46:2, Exodus 3:2,1 Samuel 3:4-8, Isaiah 6:8).
We need to have our spiritual identity. That becomes clear when we come into a definite real relationship with God and allow our children to come into that relationship and become part of this story. Today God is calling upon your name, may we be able to say “Here I am” when He calls us. Whether we are in a miserable situation or praising the Lord and giving thanks to God, it is the same – God here I am, הִנֵּה hinneh. Behold.