Saints Never Forgotten!
James Smith, 1842
"O Israel, you shall not be forgotten by Me!" Isaiah 44:21
In seasons of affliction it is a very common temptation, that our friends forget us, or at least in a measure neglect us; but it is a delightful source of consolation to the Christian mind, that let whoever will forget us — the Lord never will. Zion of old said, "The Lord has forsaken me — and my Lord has forgotten me!" But what says the answer of God unto her? "Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!" Isaiah 49:15. And in the portion above, Jehovah speaks in terms of inexpressible tenderness and love, as though the kindest mother was addressing the best beloved child, "O Israel, you shall not be forgotten by me."
Engraved on His priestly breastplate, and by the piercing nails on the palms of His hands, and by almighty love on the tablet of His heart — you are ever with Him. You cannot be out of His thoughts — or out of His heart one moment. All the business of the world, yes, of all the worlds He has created, will not cause Him to forget you. Love strengthens the memory in creatures; and the love of Jesus renders it utterly impossible that you should be forgotten. He . . .
pleads for you as your Intercessor,
represents you as your Surety, and
acts for you as the Mediator between God and man.
He has taken up your name into His mouth, and your person into His care. He has taken you to Himself as His own, and says, "I am married unto you." Can the husband forget the bride of His bosom; the father the child of His affection and cares? No more will your God forget you. He neither forgets that you are, nor what you are, nor where you are, nor how you are. He remembers He has such a child, an object of His highest love and constant care; that you are in the place you inhabit; and that you are weak, sick, and needing His constant attention. He says to you, "Fear not, I am with you."
You may not be sensible of His presence — but His eye lingers over you with delight, and His ear is open to catch the feeble accent of prayer or praise. Jesus forget His people! Utterly impossible. Jesus forget you! It cannot be. He says, "You have forgotten me, days without number." Yes, gracious Lord, we plead guilty to the charge, we have forgotten you; and we indeed deserve to be forgotten by you. But Israel has never been a widow, nor Judah forsaken of her God, the Lord Almighty.
Jehovah the Father remembers you as the object of His eternal love, and ancient choice. Jesus remembers you as the gift of His Father to Him, and the purchase of His precious blood. The Holy Spirit remembers you as His temple and His workmanship. The whole Deity remembers you as ordained to show forth Jehovah's praise, and glorify His divine perfections through endless ages. You are remembered with pleasure in Heaven, and remembered with pity on earth. Do not think hardly of friends, grieve not for lack of more visitors; but rejoice that your God is ever with you; and sing with the Psalmist, "The Lord has been mindful of us, He will bless us; His merciful kindness is ever great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever." "I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God."