Engraved on His Hands

Isaiah 49:16

A Russian citizen imprisoned by the Nazis during the German occupation of World War II watched his young wife brutalized and killed after soldiers snatched her newborn child from her arms and gave it to a youthful officer whose wife was barren.

The prisoner gazed for the last time on the tiny lips and wide, bewildered eyes of his only child. Fearful of the days ahead and what cruelties might erode his fragile mental powers, the prisoner did a startling thing. With his knife he carved the name of the child on his right hand. Never would he allow himself to forget the object of his love.

“I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands”

(Isaiah 49:16). The stirring statement of Isaiah presents one of the most astonishing pictures in all the Bible of God’s love for us. Those nail-scarred hands bear the marks of His caring, engraved with our names for time and eternity.

Such a bold cure was necessary for the deep wound mankind had sustained. The entrance of sin into the human heart had estranged us from our Creator, leaving us open for every sort of evil invention.

There may be times when the eventualities of life with their bitter qualities make us wonder if He has forgotten. The nation of Israel in Isaiah’s day must have wondered if their God had turned His back on them. “But I will not forget you,” God promised them and promises us.

Brigadier Josef Korbel was imprisoned by the despotic communist country of Czechoslovakia and subjected to unspeakable punishment. He tells of an occasion when he was tied to a barbed wire fence in the dead of winter and left for long hours because he dared to pass a bit of Scripture to a fellow inmate. In the moment of darkest despair, he testifies, he sensed a strange warmth. Looking up,

“I saw a pair of beautiful hands covering my own—hands which bore unmistakably the marks of nail prints.”

After the resurrection, Christ came suddenly into a room through no door at all—clad in His glorified body. But still He bore the nail prints in His hands. He will not forget us. Our names are engraved on His hands!

General Albert Orsborn penned the chorus as a memorial to this truth:

He cannot forget me, Though trials beset me.

Forever His promise shall stand.

He cannot forget me, Though trials beset me.

My name’s on the palm of His hand.

Marlene Chase, Pictures from the Word

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