Isaiah 43:1 (TLB)
“But now the Lord who created you, O Israel, says: Don’t be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.”
Mine—that’s one of my favorite words. And I love the way it ties into the theme of adoption. Some people seem hesitant and nervous about the possibility of adoption. “I just don’t feel like I could love an adopted child as much as a biological one,” they say. But God says otherwise. The theme of adoption is woven throughout the entire Bible, but three passages stand out to me in relation to this fear.
Israel: The Old Testament foreshadows God’s plan for redemption through the story of Israel, His Chosen People, whom God adopted as His own. In Isaiah 43:1, God says to them, “I have called you by name; you are MINE.” The Israelites did nothing to earn this designation or God’s favor. In fact, they spent most of history turning their backs on God and His provision. Still, God was faithful in His love and provision. If you skip ahead to the Book of Revelation, you’ll see that God’s love for this Chosen People NEVER fails. It always perseveres.
Joseph: Both Matthew and Luke, in their respective Gospels, provide a genealogy of Christ—each leading back to King David. There are some differences in the lineages between the two accounts, and there are several potential explanations for those differences. Along the way, though, each acknowledges one man in particular: Joseph. As we all know, Joseph was Jesus’ adoptive father. And yet, Christ’s lineage is traced back through him, as though there were a biological connection. God clearly agrees with the claim once made by Garth Brooks, that “blood is thicker than water, but LOVE is thicker than blood.”
Jesus: The New Testament is littered with evidence of God’s love for us, and of our position as God’s adopted sons and daughters. John 1:12 assures believers that, “As many as received Him, to them he gave the right, the authority, to become the children of God, even to those who believe on His name.” Galatians 3:26 adds that we are “sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” And Romans 8:17a (NLT) states that “since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.” Never mind that Colossians 3:12 calls us “holy and dearly loved” by our Heavenly Father. I could certainly go on and on, but I think you get the picture.
So I have a lot of questions about adoption:
- Will the timing work out?
- Will the finances work out?
- Will we qualify to adopt a child?
But one question that I never have to ask is whether or not I will be able to love an adopted child as much as I would a biological one. If we take God at His Word, which I do, then the answer is, most assuredly, “Yes!”