Whilst these words are specifically addressed to Jacob and Israel, it must be noted that ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ are singular. Israel might be God’s redeemed ones perpetually, in spite of their failure and sin, yet redemption is the priceless possession of every believing individual. A redeemed soul is wholly the fruit of divine grace, the accomplishment of God’s sovereign will and purpose, but drawn in the power of inexpressible love. The words, ‘created thee’ and ‘formed thee’, tell of the power and purpose. This one was the creation of God, forming and making him for His own purpose, a sovereign work indeed. It may be stated categorically that the object thus created is unquestionably the property of Him who made it.
But redemption is the necessity for mankind, for Israel and for each individual because of the fallen condition which has brought us into bondage to sin, Satan, and death. Like the former work of God, no human hand had any part to play; indeed, to those spiritually dead, such was impossible. Again, redemption is a work wholly of God, something He alone could do.
Alone He bore the cross,
alone its grief sustained;
His was the shame, the loss,
and His the victory gained;
The mighty work was all His own,
Yet we, by grace,
shall share His throne.
Yet the stubborn heart of man requires further divine grace. This comes out in the most tender beseeching of God’s love, ‘I have called thee by thy name’. What infinite patience and grace He has lavished upon us in this three-fold way to make us His own. How secure and certain is all that He does! His work can never fail.
But, in spite of all this assurance, every heart has times of doubt and fear. The cause is always and ever the same. It is when the focus of our faith is diverted from Christ to some aspect of our own inadequacies and failures. Our minds waver and doubt. Did I really believe? Did I mean it? Was it all emotion or imagination?
If salvation rested on such things, we might have reason for fear and doubt. But, as this verse tells us, we all rest fully on Him. What assurance these words convey – the eternal reality, ‘thou art mine’! Foreknown, made, redeemed, called. These words are fully explained in Romans chapter 8 verses 29 and 30, all resting on His sovereign grace. But more lies in these words than just the facts of us belonging to Him. Do we not hear in them the breathings of satisfied love? His joy is being able to call us His own – ‘thou art mine’.
These Old Testament words are illustrated in John’s Gospel where we read of the Lord as the Good Shepherd. He seeks and finds His own sheep in chapters 8 and 9. They are brought to the fold. But chapter 13 shows how precious His own are to His heart, ‘having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end’, v. 1. Thus, He prays that they may ‘be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory’, John 17. 24. We have been redeemed and called. We have this intimacy of love. Surely we may say with the beloved, ‘I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine’, S. of S. 6. 3.