When God Speaks like a Mother (Is 49 & 66; Matt 23)

  • God sometimes uses the language of a mother to describe how he relates to us.
  • There are beautiful scriptures where he tells us how he sees us, hears our cry and deeply cares for us, using mother imagery.

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Video cover image by Elvis Kennedy CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

  • As you know, I believe that sermons should not be the preacher coming up with a message and then trying to find a few verses to make it sound “biblical”.
    Sadly that’s what often happens today
  • No, sermons should be God preaching through his Word.
    • The preacher is just explaining God’s sermon

When God Speaks like a Mother

  1. The God who watches over you
  2. The God who hears you
  3. The God who cares for you


That all of us would be able to take in God’s maternal attention to us
and care over us.

1. The God who watches over you

  • God sees us every moment. He does not forget us.

Isaiah 49

  1. Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing!
    For the LORD has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.
  2. But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.
  3. “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.
  4. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…
  • Note how God users Mother imagery
    • He will not forget us, but has even more of a focused attention than a mother to her baby
  • I have some friends who will write something they don’t want to forget with a ballpoint pen on their hands
    • Very effective, but not permanent
  • But this is permanent. Your name is permanently on his hands!

Hosea 11

  1. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them.
  2. I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.

2. The God who hears you

  • Hearing is about when we actually cry to God and he is listening
  • There was a fight between Abraham’s wife Sarah, and Hagar over their sons.
    • Abraham brought it to God, and God said to separate them and promises Abraham he will look after them.

Genesis 21, God Hears

  1. So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.
  2. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes.
  3. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bow-shot,
    for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.”
    And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept.
  4. And God heard the voice of the boy,
    and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her,
    “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.
  5. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
  6. Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.
    And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
  • God says he is attuned to us like a mother

Psalm 34

  1. I will bless the LORD at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
    %-There is something special about God that he will praise him for:%
  2. My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
    let the humble hear and be glad…
  3. I sought the LORD, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
  4. Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
  5. This poor man cried,
    and the LORD heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.

3. The God who cares for you

1 Peter 5 – God Cares

  1. humble yourselves under his mighty hand
  2. by casting (throwing, loading) all your cares on him because he cares for you.
  • Animal imagery:

Deuteronomy 32 - Eagle

  1. You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
    %now back to v.10%
  2. “He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
  3. Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions,

Psalm 91

  1. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge…
    %Jesus picks up these images when he laments over Jerusalem:%
  • Matthew 23
  1. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

Isaiah 66

  1. Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” says the LORD;
    “shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?” says your God.
  2. “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her;
    rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her;
  3. For thus says the LORD:
    “Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
    and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream;…
  4. As one whom his mother comforts,
    so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
  • If I could only pick one or two verses, I would have this one, and the one about even if a mother could forget her baby...

Can you take in these truths?

  1. God who watches over you: “Can a woman forget her nursing child…? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”
  2. God hears you: “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.”
  3. God cares for you:As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you”
  • My challenge to you today is to believe what God says about his care over you!
    • If a child has a mother who is attentive, listening and caring, they grow up much more secure
    • How much more secure will you feel if you really believe God’s words here
  • If you are a mother today, then this honors you – to be a good mother is to be like God
  • If you are not a follower of Jesus, then God is still attentive to your cries for him if you want to trust him. He said he will adopt you into his family if you come and humbly ask him.