Remembering (Part 4)

Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:15-16 ESV). We return to Isaiah for our reading today as we look at the second truth from our study in Deuteronomy: God is faithful and loving to His own. He cannot, He will not forget us even for a moment. There are so many examples of the impact of this assuring promise of God. When Isaiah declares that God has “engraved” us on His hands he is declaring that He will never forget Zion, the city (people) of God. They are inscribed (engraved) upon the palms of His hands so that they will always be in His sight and kept as an everlasting remembrance. This expression is referring to an actual custom among the Jews who actually tattooed their hands or arms with paintings of Jerusalem or the Temple, thus they would always have a remembrance ever before them. They would have an impression on a block of wood of something relating to the city such as the Temple and print it onto the palm or arm with powder or charcoal. Then they would take two needles tied close together and dipping many times in certain inks they would make small punctures quickly and accurately all along the lines of the figure they had printed. This verse teaches us that God constantly cares for and remembers His people, using an imagery that was familiar to the ancient custom of the day. Even in the midst of the most terrible trials, as in the background of this verse, He will always remember His beloved. Just as their city walls were built for safety, so our safety and protection depends upon His continual care. The wounds in Christ’s hands when he was crucified are a clear message calling us to remember this verse. He will always protect those for whom he suffered and died, and His remembrance of us is as close to God as He is to Himself. When Jesus wanted to prove himself and assure the disciples that he was indeed the Messiah, he said: And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. (Luke 24:38-39 ESV). His message is no different to us. Whatever you may be experiencing he has not forgotten. How could he? He has written your name on his hands in the most personal way possible. He did it on the cross for your eternal life. And that is the life he is developing in...

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