“… to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial, and a name … that will endure forever …” Isaiah 56:5
The prophet Isaiah speaks here through the Spirit of God, encouraging those who believed wholeheartedly in God, yet labored under great discouragement. Some were discouraged because they were not from the seed of Abraham. They had joined to God and had bound their souls and hearts with a bond to be His forever, breaking off from the world and flesh, to be devoted entirely to serve and honor God. But they questioned whether God accepts them, because they were from the sons of the stranger “Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say: The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.” And let no eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.” (Isaiah 56:3). They were gentiles, strangers to the commonwealth of the house of God and His people, aliens from the covenants of promise, and therefore feared having neither part nor lot in the matter. Strangers, who had never a chance to experience the love of God, to read His word or to be touched by HIS hand.
Often it was said that there should be a law for the stranger and for the one born in the promised land (Exodus 12:49), and yet they came to this profound conclusion. Holding unto the promise of God, that he would not only bring them out of the darkness into His light, but He also gave them a promise to give them a name and a memorial within His temple, His walls and house, declaring them to be His.
In accordance to what Apostle Peter wrote: “…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Gods special possessions, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God, once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)
This is the testimony of many Muslim background believers (MBBs) across the Islamic world and in the diaspora. Many of us were born and grew up in a very hostile environment to the gospel, resisting to accept the grace of God, which is given through the gift of Jesus Christ. Yet God in his mercy met many of the MBBs through dreams, visions, miracles, his word or by simply sensing the love of Christ through followers of Christ, causing the big miracle of time by touching their hearts, minds, and souls to come to know His saving grace in Christ. Despite of the challenges, rejection, and persecution, they are holding firm to His hand, which is holding them close to His heart. That’s why we should never lose heart, because he gave us an everlasting name, engraved our names in the palm of His hand. He is the one that has the last word in our lives. Even though not born into Christian homes, there is a place in His home. Even though the MBBs are not having Christian names, but HE named them. Even though many people don´t know them, but He knows their names. Even though many have forgotten them, but He will never leave nor forsake them (Deuteronomy 31:6), will always be with them. Identity lays not in the past as MBB, but in the presence as follower of Christ, and in the future in eternity in the presence of God.