“Meet my foster father, His Royal Highness, the King.”
We were at the Memphis City Library. The little boy’s face beamed as he looked up at the businessman who held his hand. “This is my new dad.” All of us who witnessed his claim admired the man who adopted this boy and rejoiced at the attachment the youngster felt for him. A similar story is told in the Bible, except the adoptive father was not a businessman, but a king.
During the exile in Babylon the Israelites nearly gave up on God. They had trouble believing that the God who lost the last war could somehow win the next one. They were in exile, orphaned in a foreign land.
One counselor who comforted the uncomfortable was Isaiah. Knowing that they felt like orphans, God told the exiles that “kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers” (Isaiah 49:23).
The orphaned Israelites would be adopted by a rich king. The uncared-for children of Israel would be nourished by a queen. Outcasts would soon live in the palace. Feeling like nobodies, they were soon to become somebodies.
Isaiah’s metaphor relies on understanding what happened in the library. To that little boy, his new dad was a king. His new house was a palace. Unwanted children who get new parents through the grace of God go through the same experience the Israelites did when God rescued them.
Do you know someone who wants to be a king?