Zechariah 2:8 “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘After glory He has sent Me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.’”
Have you ever noticed how people tend to give nicknames to those they love? Sweetheart, Darling, Precious, and Honey are some of these most common terms of endearment. Other times people craft fun or special names, which are meaningful and fitting for a certain individual. We have a number of those in our family. Just ask our sweet Abigail, whose older sister Emily dubbed her at birth Princess Cherry Blossom. Each pet name demonstrates how much we love the person so named.
God also has terms of endearment for those He loves. God’s people had gone through a very difficult period of time. They had spent years under the bondage of foreign nations. They brought this captivity on themselves because they turned away from God and broke His covenant with them. In wisdom God allowed them to be punished for their disloyalty by these foreign nations. But as with any good parent, God never stopped loving His children. He brought about their punishment for the purpose of getting their attention and drawing them back into relationship with Himself.
The prophet Zechariah delivered God’s call to repentance and promise of deliverance to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah. “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion.’” The nation of Israel was special and loved, nicknamed the apple of God’s eye, and He was angry at the foreign nations. They had been called to punish His wayward people but they wanted to go beyond God’s intention. They planned to annihilate His special nation, and this was unacceptable!
God pledged that He would be a protective wall of fire around Jerusalem and that His glory would fill the city. He would go after the enemy nations with a vengeance because no one could touch His loved ones without His permission.
Today God loves those who belong to Him as much as He loves the nation of Israel. In fact, God sees all people who are in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, as His one redeemed people. Ephesians 2:13-14 says, “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace who made both groups (Jew and Gentiles) into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall…”
That means that we also acquire His special terms of endearment. We are deeply loved by Almighty God, and also called the “apple of His eye.” He is concerned about all that happens to us. He lovingly blesses us, disciplines us, provides for us, and protects us. No one can harm us without His permission. We are His and He is ours.
Have you grown up with a special nickname? Are you someone’s Honey, Sweetheart, Darling, or Princess Cherry Blossom? Regardless, if you are one of God’s children you are deeply loved. And those who touch you touch the “apple of His eye.” — Love, Mama
Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.