(This post is part of the Confidence in Our Calling series.)
Out of His heart for adoption, God makes commitments throughout Scripture to provide for those whom He calls from afar off. These pledges come with the imagery of a Father gathering orphans into His home, and they are made to those without a place to belong.
Through Isaiah, God proclaims that He is the Savior of Israel, summoning them by name, delivering them out of the flood and the fire, and giving nations for their ransom (see Isaiah 43:1-4). In the midst of this declaration, God promises to add to His people those children He has chosen from far away lands.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, “Give them up!”
and to the south, “Do not hold them back.”
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.
The night before His crucifixion, Jesus shares the Last Supper with His disciples. Knowing the events that are about to unfold, and how hard His departure will be for His followers, Jesus uses the language of adoption to comfort them with the promise of the Holy Spirit. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18)
And one of the most famous promises in the New Testament, that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28) is immediately followed by the reason behind this guarantee – a reason rooted in God’s adoptive heart. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29)
Where else in the Bible does God make promises regarding adoption?