6 December 2013

Isaiah 44:1-8

"Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you in the womb and will help you: Do not fear, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen." (v. 2)


Isaiah is writing in a way that is both intensely personal and yet relevant to God's people as a whole.

The idea of God being responsible for every miracle of new life, starting deep in the secret place of the womb, is amazing. It means he is involved in the lives of all six and a half billion plus people in today's world, to say nothing of all those who have gone before.

Despite all the recent scientific advances in reproductive technology, there is still no suggestion that life itself can be artificially created. Even the most advanced techniques of producing embryos are totally dependent on using living eggs and sperm. We can't take God out of the equation.

Isaiah understood this close connection between God and his people, thousands of years ago. He used the personal names, Jacob and Jeshurun, to personify the people of God. This extended the concept of God's personal involvement at the individual level into the recurrent Old Testament theme of God's close relationship with the Jewish nation.

To Ponder

  • Can modern reproductive technology mean that humankind is trying to "play God"?
  • What does it mean to you that God "formed you in the womb"?

Bible notes author

The Revd Peter Byass

Peter is a Methodist minister who spends a large part of his time working on the global health scene, from his working base as professor of Global Health at the University of Umeå (in Sweden) and on frequent field visits. Until recently he also chaired the Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF).