Today’s scripture is found in the book of Isaiah, Chapter 49. We read this scripture the other day and it has stuck with me ever since. When I prayed to God for a message this morning. This is what he gave me. We won’t be before you very long today. After church, go spend time with your mother if you still have her, your wife, or that special mother in your life. The title of this message is very simply, “The Best Mother You Could Ever Have.” READ verses14-16
As we look today in the blessed Old Bible at these scriptures we see the context. To understand what is going on here you’ll need to back up and read the previous verses. When you back up and read the previous verses you will begin to see that the Lord is proclaiming his love and faithfulness to Israel. Let me stop right here for just a moment because there is something here that needs to be said. I’m glad the God I serve is faithful. He’s not some run of the mill, fly by night, Johnny come lately, here today gone tomorrow god. He is the eternal God who formed man from the dust of the earth, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, meted out the waters in the hollow of his hand, framed this universe and everything thing in it, he’s not going anywhere, and for this cause I can say I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that He is a faithful God. When I need him, he’s there! When I call, he hears! If you’re here today and you’ve got some flim flam God who’s not there when you need him, you need to switch gods. The God that I proclaim, HE IS GOD! Not because I proclaim Him, but because He’s always been God. You see He was in the beginning, he still is today, and will be forevermore God! Before I met Him, He was God then. I hadn’t trusted Him, but he was still God. For those who had trusted Him He was faithful. I hadn’t yet trusted Him, I was too busy trusting myself. One day I came to end of myself and I saw that I needed someone faithful to put my trust in, and I met Him, and he’s been faithful to me ever since. Now you and I who are here this morning on this Mother’s Day 2012 can learn from this because those of us who have been born again by the grace of God are the Israel of God. I don’t have a problem claiming these promises and applying these verses to you and I, at least in the sense that just as God was faithful and loving to his people, Israel, He is also faithful and loving to you and I today. As Ephesians chapter 2 so poignantly tells us, Jesus Christ has made one nation of two nations. He hath made both one, and broken down the middle walls of partition between us, so making peace. So we can see his faithfulness and his love for his people.
And here in the Bible He uses this picture of a mother with a suckling child to demonstrate his love and faithfulness to his people. READ VERSES AGAIN. God is telling us this morning….He IS the best mother you could ever have!
Now for you mothers who are with us this morning, you are blessed person to be a mother. Only mothers know the depth of love and compassion it takes to care for a baby. That baby is so dependent on you to meet its needs, to provide it with nourishment and care. You mothers should relate to these verses here even if the rest of us can’t understand……you know! You know the type of love involved here. You know the sheer magnitude and strength of the love that a mother has toward her suckling child. I’ve seen it before in the eyes of my wife. I’ve watched her care for our children from the time they were born. I vividly remember when they were new born little babies how Melissa nursed them and cared for them. I remember watching her as she would just sit and stare at those little babies with that faraway look in her eye. You mothers know the look I’m talking about. It’s a gaze of adoration, it’s a gaze of thankfulness, it’s a gaze of unspeakable love. Mothers, just think about how you felt when you looked down at that little face, and felt that warmth in your heart, as you cared for your precious little one. You know what the Lord is saying in his word because you’ve been there.
Those of you who are not mothers still have something to learn from these scriptures. Maybe you remember the warm love and compassion that your mother showed to you when you were only a small child, and you recall the impact it made in your life and you can look back and see the way your mother’s love has shaped your existence in this world today. With these things in mind, few could deny today the power of a mother’s love. I’ve seen the meekest and most timid of women rise up like a mother hen to protect her brood. She loves her children with a powerful love. I’ve seen in my own mother. She’s sitting right back there. I remember one specific time when I was very small. I had a modest upbringing. We weren’t dirt poor. We had what we needed, but I wasn’t spoiled by any means. My dad was a coal miner and his wages earned us a trailer in a trailer park. Sometime it got rough there. One day I was outside playing and this dude verbally jumped on me for no reason. See, there were a lot of rough neck people around there, and the roughest rough necks you could always find at the end of the trailer park sitting on the bridge. That was there hangout. I mean as a small child I had to walk across that bridge to catch the school bus, and these rough neck fellows would always just be sitting there waiting for trouble to come along. Well, one day one of them jumped on me. I was just a little fellow maybe 6 or 7 years old if that. This guy was a young guy (not sure how old) but he was grown compared to me. He scared me half to death. I started crying and did the only thing I knew to do. I went and told my mom. I still remember it to this day. She walked out of that trailer door and was heading for the bridge. It was exactly one tenth of a mile from our trailer to the bridge. And she had that walk going. You know how you walk when you’re wanting to get ahold of somebody. She was walking with a purpose. I followed at a distance. She got down to that bridge and that ol dude was still sitting there, and I remember thinking, “What’s gonna happen now.” Either that ol dude is about to get or mom’s gonna get killed. Well she walked right up to this guy with that righteous anger, and all I remember as she lit into him was hearing him say over and over again, “Yes mam, Yes mam, Yes mam!” I didn’t have anymore trouble with him. And there are many other stories I could tell. But we see here in the word of God, the Lord uses a picture of a mother’s love to communicate, in a way they all could understand, His love and faithfulness to them.
Women just don’t forsake their children. I mean let’s face it today, we all hear about those isolated cases of babies found in trash dumpsters, and we all hear that occasional and bizarre case of unspeakable cruelty that arises from time to time in this old sin cursed world, but that’s not what the Lord is talking about here. What the Lord is trying to convey to his people here is simply this truth…..as great as a mother’s love and devotion for her suckling child may be, MY love and devotion to you is far greater than even hers! Praise God! The question is asked, “Can a mother forget her suckling child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?” Everyone would have understood the answer to be……NO, of course a mother would never forsake her suckling child. But once God establishes this truth, he takes it a step further by telling them, “But even if she did forsake her suckling child, I’ll never forsake you!”
Thank God there’s a love greater than a mother’s love! Maybe you’re here this morning and you’ve felt as if the Lord has forsaken and forgotten about you, and you’ve asked the question, “Does God really care about me?” Let me tell ya friend, the promise is right here! God CANNOT forget his own! This assurance was given to the Lord’s chosen people on the eve of their return from Babylon. Listen to the Lord’s voice. Ponder His assurance. He says, “Yet will I not forget thee!” This past week marked one year since my father passed away. Just days before his death I heard him speak about my grandmother. She had about six kids and he said when they were young, they’d run up to her and ask her, “Momma, which one of us do you love the most?” And he recalled her reply. She said, “Whichever one needs me the most at the time. That’s the one I love the most.” A mother’s love is just indescribable. She’ll struggle for years to be a buffer between them and the sidewalk, she’ll fight to protect them from failure, and struggle to keep them from disappointment. The Catholics believe in going to Mary for prayer partly because a mother is known for being more tender, caring, forgiving, loving, gentle, patient, and understanding. But here God says, “My love for you supercedes a mother’s love. They may forget, yet will I not forget.” He is the best mother you could ever have!
In verse 16, the Bible says, “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.” On which hand has he graven his people? BOTH HANDS! The word graven means inscribed. This speaks of an ancient practice. You see, long ago when someone wanted to remember something, they would make it permanent by burning or puncturing figures or other momentos upon the hand or the arm. Then they would rub indigo, henna, or some other colored substance over it. That would make the mark an indelibly permanent mark. It would be constantly present with that individual. Here I see an obvious and beautiful fulfillment of the nail scarred hands of Jesus Christ. Jesus told Thomas when he appeared to him after the resurrection, “Thomas, look at my hands.” When we see the nail scarred hands of Jesus, we see that He has graven us upon the palms of His hands. With this kind of love, how could God ever forget his people? He is the best mother you could ever have. Jesus Christ has graven you upon the palms of his hands. Not just your name, thank God, but YOU! This isn’t like the man who gets a tattoo and then decides he doesn’t like and so he goes and has it altered, blacked out, or removed. No, Jesus Christ has us graven upon the palms of his hands. It’s permanent. Forever. Your person, your image, your case, your circumstances, your temptations, your weaknesses, your wants, your works, and all of your concerns, he says, “I have them engraved right there.” When our Lord lifts his hands, he sees his people and he treasures every remembrance of you. And he keeps his promises 1000 times a day, and yet at our very next trial we doubt him again! But he never fails, he’s never a dry well, he’s never as a setting sun, he’s not as a passing meteor or a melting vapor.
Let me ask you this question, “Will you dare say again that God has forsaken you when He has you graven upon the palms of his hands?”
In conclusion this morning, He says, “thy walls are continually before me.” Of course these walls refer to the walls of the city of Jerusalem. These walls represent health, strength, prosperity, and the security of God’s people. You know, God is always mindful of the condition of His people, even despite the objections of a doubting world. When he told Israel, “Your walls are ever before me,” they knew that he saw those broken places in the walls that were under construction. He was able to view their rebuilding. He sees the broken places in your life also. He sees those places that need rebuilding. He’ll help you. He won’t forget you. He is the best mother you could ever have.
As we are gathered today on this Mother’s day 2012, let us be reminded that it is good and right to honor our mothers. Ephesians chapter 6 among other places commands us to honor our parents. But may we never forget that there is a love greater than a mother’s love. It’s God’s love. You may be here this morning and your mother is no longer with you. God is still with you. His love is the greatest love of all. Maybe you never had a relationship with your mother and it’s caused much pain. You can have a relationship with God. He’ll love you more than any money could dare love. He wants you to come to him. Would you come to him right now? For the rest of us, let us always remember that God is to be honored above all. He’ll be a mother when there’s no mother to be found. He is the best mother you could ever have.