Yet Jerusalem says, “The LORD has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.” “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins” (Isaiah 49:14-16 NLT).
Friend to Friend
The school called yesterday to let me know my son had been waiting in the office for ten minutes. I had remembered to write the note to excuse him from school for an appointment, but I lost track of time while answering emails and plugging through my to-do list. I sure hope you can relate! I set alarms on my phone, write lists in my planner, and still struggle to remember things.
Thankfully the Lord doesn’t have this same struggle. He has never forgotten anything, ever – except that He chooses to forget about our sin (Isaiah 43:25). It may feel like He doesn’t always respond to our prayers or intervene when we think He should, but He is never early or late and certainly has not forgotten about us.
Just like I sometimes forget appointments, I also forget about God’s perfect timing. Isaiah 49 reminds us of the Lord’s faithfulness. Isaiah spoke of a Messiah who would come to rescue not just God’s people but the entire world! If the Lord knew just the right moment to send His Son into the world, I know you can trust Him with your calendar as well!
Through Isaiah, God told His people about their future rescue from exile in Babylon, but He also hinted at a much greater fulfillment that would come centuries later when Jesus came to earth in human form to die for our sins. None of the original audience would live long enough to see the exile or rescue of God’s people, or even the birth of Christ. Yet God revealed glimpses so they could see His design and live with hope and trust in Him.
In this poetic Servant Song in Isaiah 49, we find the Lord using illustrations of a shepherd leading his sheep beside cool water, a nursing mother never forgetting her child, a courageous warrior, and a God who has written our names in the palm of His hand. Jesus is the shepherd who leaves the 99 to go after the one lost sheep (Matthew 18:10-14). Jesus is the Son but also takes the role of a compassionate mother caring for a dependent child. Jesus may be tender, but He is not weak. The Lord said, “For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children” (Isaiah 49:25b).
All of these pictures remind us of God’s incredible love for His people, but the one that really tugs at my emotions is the engraving of our names in the palm of His hand. “See, I have written your name on the palms of My hands. Always in My mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins” (Isaiah 49:16).
Pastor Warren Wiersbe sheds more light on what the Hebrew word for writing or engraving means. “The word engraved means ‘to cut into’ signifying its permanence.” This writing wasn’t something like a pencil, pen, or even a sharpie marker—it was a permanent signature, often done in stone. Take a minute to let that sink in. These verses were not just for the nation of Israel. Yahweh is not only the God of the Jews but the God of the entire world. This means He knows your name. He knows what you are waiting for. He understands the questions going through your mind right now. He has not forgotten you.
God is faithful to do what He says He will do at just the right time. He sent His Son, Jesus, to save us from our sin. His hand is extended toward us.
If you have never confessed with your mouth and believed in your heart that Jesus is the Messiah, today is the day! For those of us who have already embraced this truth, perhaps today is a fresh reminder of God’s perfect timing. Even when we can’t see or feel it, God works out His perfect plan in His perfect timing. Since God sent Jesus at just the right time, then we can trust His timing for the events in our lives.
Jesus, thank You for being despised and rejected. The Son of God who brought light into the life of this Gentile! It blows my mind to think that my name is written in the palm of Your hand. Give me patience to be a better waiter. Help me to trust that Your faithful timing is best.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Take some time today to think about God’s hands. Imagine your name engraved on His palm. What does it mean to you to know that your name is engraved on the palm of God’s hand? Thank Him for seeing you and remembering you today.
More from the Girlfriends
Check out Melissa’s new Bible study titled Isaiah: Striving Less and Trusting God More for an in-depth study of the book of Isaiah.
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