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Thank God for the promise that ‘those who hope in me will not be disappointed’ (v 23c).

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Bible passage Isaiah 49:8–26

Restoration of Israel
 8 This is what the LORD says:
       "In the time of my favor I will answer you,
       and in the day of salvation I will help you;
       I will keep you and will make you
       to be a covenant for the people,
       to restore the land
       and to reassign its desolate inheritances,

 9 to say to the captives, 'Come out,'
       and to those in darkness, 'Be free!'
       "They will feed beside the roads
       and find pasture on every barren hill.

 10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,
       nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them.
       He who has compassion on them will guide them
       and lead them beside springs of water.

 11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
       and my highways will be raised up.

 12 See, they will come from afar—
       some from the north, some from the west,
       some from the region of Aswan."

 13 Shout for joy, O heavens;
       rejoice, O earth;
       burst into song, O mountains!
       For the LORD comforts his people
       and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

 14 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me,
       the Lord has forgotten me."

 15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
       and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
       Though she may forget,
       I will not forget you!

 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
       your walls are ever before me.

 17 Your sons hasten back,
       and those who laid you waste depart from you.

 18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
       all your sons gather and come to you.
       As surely as I live," declares the LORD,
       "you will wear them all as ornaments;
       you will put them on, like a bride.

 19 "Though you were ruined and made desolate
       and your land laid waste,
       now you will be too small for your people,
       and those who devoured you will be far away.

 20 The children born during your bereavement
       will yet say in your hearing,
       'This place is too small for us;
       give us more space to live in.'

 21 Then you will say in your heart,
       'Who bore me these?
       I was bereaved and barren;
       I was exiled and rejected.
       Who brought these up?
       I was left all alone,
       but these—where have they come from?' "

 22 This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
       "See, I will beckon to the Gentiles,
       I will lift up my banner to the peoples;
       they will bring your sons in their arms
       and carry your daughters on their shoulders.

 23 Kings will be your foster fathers,
       and their queens your nursing mothers.
       They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground;
       they will lick the dust at your feet.
       Then you will know that I am the LORD;
       those who hope in me will not be disappointed."

 24 Can plunder be taken from warriors,
       or captives rescued from the fierce?

 25 But this is what the LORD says:
       "Yes, captives will be taken from warriors,
       and plunder retrieved from the fierce;
       I will contend with those who contend with you,
       and your children I will save.

 26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh;
       they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine.
       Then all mankind will know
       that I, the LORD, am your Savior,
       your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Audio Bible passage

The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).

Explore the Bible

Loving Father
What an amazing transformation! God’s people, formerly captives living in darkness, are brought safely home! They thought they were forsaken and forgotten (v 14), but God’s commitment to his precious children is more certain than a nursing mother’s love for her child (vs 15–17).

With great compassion he is now bringing them comfort (v 13; see 40:1). From all directions God’s people are rushing back to the land (vs 17,18). There will be lots of people (vs 19–21), lots of help from the influential (vs 22,23), and great honour in place of humiliation (vs 24–26).

Comforted children
Jesus died not only for the Jewish nation but ‘also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one’ (John 11:52). He plans for the whole human race to know that he is powerful to save and redeem his people (v 26).

Do you feel ‘bereaved and barren … exiled and rejected’ (v 21)? Lift up your eyes, and see what God is doing! Hurry home! Find your place in the international community of the redeemed!


‘Now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation’ (2 Corinthians 6:2; see v 8). So let us press in to all the good things which are ours in Christ and encourage others to do the same!

Andrew Clark

Deeper Bible study

‘Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.’ (Psalm 36:5)

From the mocking of Babylon (Isaiah 47), the reproving of Israel (Isaiah 48) and the mild reproaching of the servant (Isaiah 49:1–7), we come at last to positive good news. Israel will be rescued from exile, go home and enjoy abundant prosperity. It’s a reason to burst into songs of joy.

Isaiah is a master artist and his images tumble over each other as the world is invited to witness God reversing the fortunes of Israel. Dark captivity will be replaced by light (v 9a), barrenness by pasture (v 9b), drought by springs of water (v 10), desolation by repopulation (vs 19,20); burden inflictors will become burden bearers (v 22) and haughty enemies will become humble servants (v 23). What great salvation! Israel’s reversal of fortunes and restoration anticipates Jesus’ later proclamation and greater work of redemption.

One image stands out above all others, that of the mother who cannot forget her children (v 15). The maternal instinct creates an unbreakable bond that remains in spite of everything. The exiles may have engraved pictures of Jerusalem, a sort of primitive photograph, to remind them of their homeland, but, like any mother, God has engraved his people not on a slate but ‘on the palms of my hands’ (v 16). The picture is fundamental not only for its raw emotion but because it explains God’s action. What had happened when Israel lost everything and went into exile and what was going to happen to them as they returned home to prosperity were two expressions of the same bond, the one unbreakable covenant that was fundamental to everything. After discipline came redemption and after alienation came a restored relationship, just as between a mother and her child. Underneath it all, the true heart of God won through; mercy and grace would flow again (James 2:13).

Derek Tidball

Bible in a year

Read the Bible in a year.

Proverbs 9,10

Psalm 90

I won’t forget you


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  • Rachael Hampton | Friday, 11 August 2017

    May all those who are traversing deserts on their journey home know deeply the promise of v10 to Israel: ' They will not hunger or thirst, neither will mirage mislead them, or scorching wind or sun smite them; for He Who has mercy on them will lead them, and by springs of water will He guide them.' I've heard it said that if God carried a wallet, it is my picture (your picture) that would be in it. Because of His covenant with Israel He went even further, and 'tattooed a picture of you on the palm of each of my hands.' Amp. We have a new covenant, and the scars in Jesus' hands He carried into Heaven with Him are a constant reminder of His love for us. What precious truths to feed on today. Blessings all, and thank you. Agreed Rebecca!

  • Angela Munday | Saturday, 12 August 2017

    Praise and thanks to You, our Heavenly Father God! You really care deeply for Your family and we know You are working all things out in Your time, not ours. As we read the Scriptures we know You are present always and we can hear You as You say "He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them.......I will not forget YOU." (verses10&15)....... Good to see you with us Sarah and hope all is well with you and Joyce:- Rebecca, what a lovely comment. May we all rejoice in our Living, Wonderful God.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 12 August 2017

    ‘those who hope in me will not be disappointed’ The opposite of hope is pessimism. Our purpose every day should be to think good things - 'You were taught with regard to your former way of life to put off your old self which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness' Eph 4:22-24

  • Sue Morling | Saturday, 12 August 2017

    How incredibly privileged we are to be watching this beautiful prophecy being literally and finally fulfilled in our times. Every detail is falling into place. Jews are making 'aliyah' from all over the world - the land is becoming too small! - Israel is now possibly the most advanced nation in technological achievement, etc etc. And, best of all, Israelis are beginning to respond to the Gospel. The number of Messianic believers is growing all the time and soon the body of Christ will be ready to welcome Him back! Even so, come Lord Jesus. Sue Morling

  • Derek Forster | Saturday, 12 August 2017

    Sing Praise to God who reigns above, The God of all creation, The God of pow’r, the God of love, The God of our salvation; With healing balm my soul He fills, Ev’ry faithless murmur stills: To God all praise and glory! The Lord is never far away, But thro’ all grief distressing, An ever present help and stay, Our peace and joy and blessing; As with a mother’s tender hand He leads His own, His chosen band: To God all praise and glory!

  • Lynda Spencer | Saturday, 12 August 2017

    I loved your comment yesterday, REBECCA. It totally sums up my sentiments too. Even when I am unable to comment (or choose not to do so) I am utterly blessed by the observations, testimonies and comments of others in this world-wide on-line family. Any word from CAROL re test results? Am praying for requests as they are posted. God bless you all this day.

  • Carol Stockman | Saturday, 12 August 2017

    Praise the Lord that he has promised never to leave us. The readings this week prepared me for the bad news that I have breast cancer, confirmed yesterday. I would value continued prayer as I come to terms with this diagnosis together with the chronic pain I cope with every day. Thank you for my fellow Word-Livers for your love and concern.

  • Rebecca Huie | Saturday, 12 August 2017

    Thank you Ruth Lewis, Rachael, Angela and Lynda for your kind words. So meaningful. I love today's reading on the tender, maternal aspects of the Lord's love for us. The verbs in verses 8-9 give such hope: answer, help, keep, make you a covenant, restore, reassign, 'Come out', ' Be free!' And 'This is what the LORD says.' Not the world or men, but the LORD. Though He sometimes seems to hide from us, here He reveals something so precious and sustaining. Praying for you and your needs and wishing all of you a blessed weekend.

  • Peter Oliver | Saturday, 12 August 2017

    Carol praying for you now.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 12 August 2017

    CAROL I found Psalm 16:5 to end a great source of strength when diagnosed with breast cancer 13 years ago. Before it was diagnosed your cancer was in the dark but now it has been brought into the light and God is light and his timing is perfect. Be encouraged blessed sister and keep godly thoughts at forefront of your mind.

  • Ruth Lewis | Saturday, 12 August 2017

    Wonderful Scriptures for today, Wonderful comments from the WL Family, and Wonderful Blessings I received from reading them all. I love this family!!! I am praying for each and everyone of you!!!

  • Ruth Chisholm | Saturday, 12 August 2017

    CAROL heartfelt prayers for you, cast all your worries and fears on him, seek him first in all things, and he will provide all that you need. God is more than enough for anything ahead, trust him one day at a time. Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1‭-‬2 REBECCA the WL family is also one of my favourite places to be, much love and wisdom is shared here.

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