Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have
compassion on the son of her womb?
&c.] This is the Lord's answer to the church's complaint, instancing in the care and affection of a mother to her child, thereby illustrating his love to his people; he instances in a "woman", the tender sex; in a "child" of her's, an infant, not one grown up, from which her affections might be alienated by disobedience; her suckling child, she had in her arms, and on her knees, and whom her breasts would put her in mind of; and since one that is not an own child may be suckled, it is called "the son of her womb"; and is it possible for such an one to be forgotten? yea, they may forget;
through inadvertency, want of affection, a cruel disposition, hurry of business, sickness, public calamities ( Lamentations 4:3 Lamentations 4:4 Lamentations 4:10 ) ( Deuteronomy 28:57 ) , such monsters in nature there may be, though rare: yet will I not forget thee;
he cannot forget, because of is nature, on which forgetfulness cannot properly fall; he will not, because of his promise, which never fails; he may seem to his people to have forgotten them, and he may be thought to have done so by others; he forgets their sins, but not their persons; he cannot forget his love, nor his covenant with them, nor his promises made to them; nor does he forget their love to him, nor their works, words, and thoughts; the righteous are had by him in everlasting remembrance. All this suggests that the Lord stands in the relation of a parent to his people, and they stand in the relation of children to him; they are born of him, and are as it were pieces of himself, and little images of him, and dear to him as the apple of his eye; they are like sucking children, that suck in the milk of his word, and suck at the breasts of his ordinances; and they are used by him in the most tender manner, as infants are; they are kissed by him, and dandled on the knee; they are led by him, and taught to go; he delights in them when they begin to speak in prayer or praise, though in a lisping and stammering manner; all their little actions are engaging, their works done by them, though imperfect, and a great deal of childishness in them; when anything ails them, he sympathizes with them, he takes care of them, and provides for them; and it is a concern to him whenever he is obliged to chastise them, and can he therefore forget them?