“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. (Isaiah 43:10-11 ESV) What I said was taken out of context and used to hurt someone I loved. I was furious! And hurt. And sad. I contacted my friend, the one the assailant was attempting to harm. I began trying to explain the context and the meaning behind my words that were carelessly spoken but never meant to be cruel. But he stopped me as soon as he saw where I was going. “How long have we known each other?” he asked. “Almost forever,” I replied. “I know you. I heard what you said and I understood what you meant. It didn’t hurt me at all. I know you love me. We’ve lived a lot of life together. I think I understand your heart by now.” We had a relationship, a long history. That means something. God made his own nation. He made a people for himself. No descendent of Abraham ever doubted that the nation of Israel was God’s work because they had been formed out Sarah’s barren womb. God gave her a child in her old age. From her barren womb God formed a nation whose number would be greater than the stars in the sky. But why? One key role that God intended for this nation to play was witness. But witness to what? God had Isaiah tell His children that they were supposed to know Him, believe Him, and understand who He is. They had seen God do amazing things! He blessed this nation. He did things no false god could even claim to have done. There is no one like Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel! And they were meant to know Him! Not just know about Him, actually know Him! He had given them his law, showing them what he was like. He provided for them. He protected them. They should have known Him! We have seen what God is like even more clearly than Isaiah did. We know about the cross. We know He came and died. We know how much He was willing to give for us. He has invited us to know Him. To pray to Him. To read about Him. To listen to Him. When we know Him, His discipline becomes sweet, loving, fatherly guidance. When trials come we don’t have to know why it is happening because we know who is in control. When blessings come we know whom to praise. Yahweh is not a far off God. He dwells in his people and desires for us to know him. He wants us to know Him the way my friend knew me, to understand His heart. That’s one of the reasons He bared it on the cross.