The Palms of God

The Palms of God

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “out of sight, out of mind.” It means that if you do not see a thing or person for a period of time, you stop thinking about that thing or person. Well, this is something we never need to worry about with God. He wants His people to know that we are always in His sight; therefore we are always in His mind. As we will see, He has graven, or “tattooed,” us on the palms of His hands. God continuously remembers and watches over us with great love.

To emphasize His great ability to remember His children, God makes a dramatic statement in Isaiah.

Isaiah 49:15,16:
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
Behold, I have graven [tattooed] thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls [hands] are continually before me.

This passage states that God’s remembrance is beyond that of even a mother for her child. A woman could forget her baby—which is most difficult and unlikely—but God will never forget one of His own. God’s memory is even deeper than the memory of a most intimate human relationship. God’s memory of us is beyond human comprehension.

After this dramatic statement of God not forgetting His children, there is a figure of speech, condescensio.

Isaiah 49:16:
Behold, I have graven [tattooed] thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls [hands] are continually before me.

This figure of speech attributes human characteristics to God: “palms of God.” The Eastern way of expressing great love and continual remembrance is by engraving, which we would call tattooing. An individual would consider getting a tattoo on almost any part of his body, but not on his palms. The reason is that the pain of tattooing on the palms is unbearable. God loves us so much that, figuratively, He is willing to bear the excruciating pain of having us tattooed on the palms of His hands. He is saying, “I love you so much I don’t want My love to be hidden underneath garments. I don’t want My love to be covered so that it cannot be seen; but I have graven you on a most delicate and sensitive part of My being that at any time I look, I can see you.” That is the love of God.

Part of the significance of God’s continuous remembrance of us is that He forgives and forgets our shortcomings while He remembers and cares for us constantly.

Isaiah 43:25:
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Psalms 103:12:
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

This reminds me of an incident in my childhood. One summer while playing in an abandoned shack near our cottage, my sisters and I noticed a bee’s nest above one of the windows. Not wanting to get stung, I found a long stick, knocked down the nest, and ran like crazy out the shack door. Then I heard one of my sisters scream, “You’ve killed them!” and I whirled around to look. To my horror, I saw the nest was not a bee’s nest, but a bird’s nest…with eggs in it!

My older sister ran home to tell my father what I had done. While I trudged slowly back to the cottage, my other sisters walked alongside me, berating me and calling me names. I felt I was the worst person on earth. My father was waiting for me in the living room. He already knew what I had done, but instead of yelling at me, he quietly and tenderly spoke to me about making better decisions and forgave my actions. He still loved me, provided for me, and never brought up the incident again.

God forgives and forgets even beyond what my earthly father was able to do. This is part of His constant love for us.

God continuously remembers and watches over us. We are never “out of sight, out of mind” with Him. We are always in His memory. In His wonderful, infinite love, He tattooed, or engraved, us on His palms. There is not a day, hour, minute, or second when we as sons of God are not remembered before the throne of God. We sons of God have truly been engraved on the palms of God.

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