Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:15-16)
God’s Love Is Unconditional
The parental love towards a child can never be fully understood until the experience is being lived with a child in the arms of a mother and father. Nothing prepares the mother for the joy of having the newborn child placed within her arms for the first time as the infant seeks nourishment from the suckling breasts as a bond is formed that will never go away. God created the woman to bear the child and because of sin, childbirth is a painful experience. However, the Lord also created an unfathomable love that while the pain of childbirth is great, a time will come when the mother desires to have another child and will endure the pain again for the love of the child. Motherhood is an incredible feeling of love that even fathers struggle to comprehend. The wisdom literature speaks of a son that may disappoint his father but he will bring shame to his mother. A father will get angry but a mother will be crushed when a child is rebellious. For nine months the mother holds her child within her womb. She is amazed as her body changes to fit the needs of the little child growing within her. In time the child will begin to move around and take on a personality. There is a wonder at what the child will look like and what will be their character. Before the advent of science that has taken away the marvel of the unknown, whether the child would be a boy or a girl brought great excitement. All of this lends itself to the love a nursing mother has for her child and this love is far removed from any love man can define with words. A mother’s love can never forget. To this imagery, God tries to tell His rebellious child, Israel, how much He loves her.
Israel was the apple of God’s eye. He formed her and created her to be the most beautiful nation on earth. Everything she needed was given to her and through the providential hand of a loving Father, the people of Abraham were blessed more than any other people. As a nation, she had struggled in her formation much like a child in the womb. During the days of conquest and the first kingdom under Saul, the nation struggled to find its footing. It grew to adolescence under the reign of David and became a full-grown woman in the days of Solomon. However, as the language of the prophets would tell, the bride of God would commit harlotry with the nations about her and turn her back on the Lord. Through men like Isaiah, the Lord would implore His people to turn their hearts back to Him and come back to the spiritual marriage bond of His covenant. The prophet Hosea would marry a woman of harlotry to show a parabolic semblance of God and Israel. Nothing the Lord could do would change the hearts of the people and a final punishment would be brought against His nation. God was not willing that any of His people perish but that they would come to repentance. It grieved the heart of the Lord God so greatly to destroy the nation He brought up out of Egypt and like a vineyard planted the choicest of vines. Zion cried out because the Lord had forsaken them and believed the Lord had forgotten them. What they did not understand is how much God loved them like a woman who would never forget her nursing child. This would not dissuade the Lord from carrying out His wrath upon a sinful and rebellious nation but His love was measured through His mercy and compassion.
Among the hearts of men, there is no greater love than a woman’s compassion on the son of her womb. It is possible for a woman to forget but the Lord God will never, can never and is unable to forget His love. No higher compassion can be felt than God for the sinner. His love is so great He gave His only begotten Son to die for the misery of man in his rebellion at the height of his hatred for God in a world so dark the sun would not shine. Humanity killed the divine on a cross through hatred, envy, and jealousy and the Creator who formed all men did nothing because He loved those who despised Him and begged the Father to forgive them. Can a woman forget her nursing child? Go to a place called Golgotha and see the blood-stained ground that held a measure of wood where the Son of God was ruthlessly nailed. Upon that cross hung the body of God’s love that had been spit upon, beaten, scourged, shamed, mocked and nailed to a tree and the voice of God cried out for the Father to forgive them. Love. Unmeasured love that was gauged by three nails and a willing heart to die for the sins of all men so that everyone could see how much God loved them. Inscribed upon the palms of God’s hands are the names of those who come to Him seeking this love and hearts that are willing to obey the grace of God in their obedience to His will. Like Israel of old, the faithful served the Lord and found peace in the remnant of God’s grace. Most of God’s creation will rebel against Him and deny Him but God’s love remains faithful. Like a nursing mother, He will never forget the children of His creation. The saddest message from a loving Father is the final recompense that must be given to those who reject Him. God is full of love but He will punish those who do not love Him.