God Calls You by Name

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“Oh look, here comes Shorty.” We’ve all heard someone do it. We may have done it ourselves--identify someone by their deficiency.

An old servant named Ziba who had served in King Saul’s palace was brought in before King David. The king was looking for a descendant of the household of Saul, and so he asked Ziba if there was anyone left. “Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet.” (II Samuel 9:3)

Did you catch that? Ziba doesn’t tell King David the son’s name, but he does talk about the son’s problem: his feet were crippled. You know, many of us are just like Ziba. In talking about folk, we may say their name, but then out comes their problem or weakness. “Remember my neighbor Margaret, the one with the funny accent?” Or we say, “At the hardware store I ran into Marty--the guy with one eye that’s kinda crossed.” We identify people by their physical problems.  And we do it with moral failings as well. “Did you see Carl? He's the one who drinks too much” “You know, Silvia--my friend who’s on her fourth marriage.”

Too often we use these shortcomings as tags to identify people. It’s good to know that God isn’t like that. In Isaiah 43:1 you can see how God thinks of you. He says, “O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

God knows your problems and mistakes better than anyone else, but He loves you, accepts you, and sees you as a whole person. You aren’t deficient in God’s eyes.  Because He is loving and gracious and forgiving, God calls you by your name. And He says, "You are mine."

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