Mother-love and chiseled hands
As a mother consoles a child, so I will console you. – Isaiah 66:13
14 Yet Jerusalem says, “The LORD has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.”
15 “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!
16 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.,
There are all types of human love. It is said that a mother’s love is foremost of all. What makes it so special? A mother’s love is unconditional and permanent. The child does not have to win its mother’s love. Mother-love is unconditional love. It is independent of the child’s personality, characteristics, or circumstances. A mother’s love is not earned or deserved, rather it is freely given because of who the child is, not what it does.
The Father God has wired mothers so that, the love-bond between mother and child arises instantly. It is a bond which unites two bodies and souls. It often begins at the moment the mother knows she is pregnant. But it climaxes at the moment the child is born. Mothers have a strong built-in instinct to nurture and protect
An abundant, healthy, wholesome relationship, resting firmly upon unconditional love, affection and respect, makes for secure, well-balanced, happy children.
The Scriptures use many metaphors to portray the relationship between God and those that believe in Him: shepherd and sheep, vine and branches, head and body, bride and bridegroom, husband and wife. But the most frequent and important is Father and child. The Scriptures certainly emphasize the fatherhood of God.
What is less well known is that He is also pictured as a compassionate Mother. In the same way that a mother loves, comforts, and cares for her children, so the eternal God watches over and is mindful of each child in the forever family (Isaiah 66:13).
Is it possible for a mother to neglect or mistreat her child? Regrettably yes, sometimes the unthinkable can and does happen. But it is an aberration not the norm. But our King would never do this! The Lord assures His people of His love by comparing Himself to a compassionate mother. Israel is depicted as a nursing child, totally dependent upon its mother. As a loving mother would never forget nor forsake its child, neither will the Lord. The Lord lavishes mother-love on each one.
Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her baby who nurses at her breast? Can she withhold compassion from the child she has borne? Even if mothers were to forget, I could never forget you!
Jeremiah 31:20 “Is not Israel still my son, my darling child?” says the LORD. “I often have spoken against him, but I still love him. That’s why I long for him and surely will have mercy on him.”
REFLECT & PRAY
“God loves you more than any mother has ever loved her own son or daughter. Everything He does in your life; He does out of love and for love’s sake. He allows even the hard times for your benefit” (Stanley).
Father thank You for being caring and loving me with mother-love, you are gentle and compassionate as You nestle me in Your loving arms. Thank You for loving me so much that You have placed my name on the palm of Your hand.
But there’s more.
Isaiah 49:16 behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.
It was a common practice during the Old Testament, for servants to have the names of their masters engraved on their hands. The mark signified ownership and permanence. Much like the branding of cattle in our day. Generally the owner’s name was engraved on the right hand (IVP BBC). While servants would have their master’s names on their hands, a master did not write his servant’s name on his hands.
But the Father God turns everything around. He has engraved each of His children’s names on His hands. The word translated engraved or inscribed is the word chaqaq in Hebrew. It means to carve, engrave, cut in, chisel, or hallow out. “This is not a tattoo on the back of his hand, and it is not something written with weak ink that can fade or be erased; this is permanently carved into his metaphorical flesh” (Gary Smith).
It is like what we do in our culture when we tie a string around our finger to remind us of something. By putting our names on the palms of His hands, the Father has a constant reminder of each of His children.
But there’s even more. The verse begins with the word “behold” or “see.” What does this suggest? The Father is beckoning His children to look at the outstretched palms of His hands. To each one of us He says, “Look my child, here is your name, which I carved into My hands out of love for you. I will never forget you!”