Julie Hannigan – I have engraved you on the palm of My hands

Bible Text: Isaiah 49:16 | Preposterous Isaiah 49:16
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands

Sometimes when I am taking communion at home and have time and personnel
space I like to not just take a bit of bread and a sip of wine but a greater quantity of
both and take communion very slowly and reflectively, praying as HS leads, reading
scriptures as directed and mediating on what He says. Sometimes as difficult as it
may be, I really feel I have to get down on my knees in absolute surrender to Him. It
was as I was doing this in October and pondering on the nails in Jesus’s hands the words Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands came into my mind. I guessed this must be a scriptural reference but had no idea where to find it but I “asked Google” and up came the answer, Isaiah 49:16. Having been given this verse I fed on it. By this I mean I thought about it continually, read bible commentaries on it and absorbed it into my soul. No one seemed to say very much about it until found a sermon by Spurgeon talking about
exactly what HS was sharing with me, that my name was on Jesus’s hands and then the nails were driven in. Just remembering that morning makes me feel trembly now.

At the same time I also read about an interview where people were asked, “how do you know you are saved?” Some said because I go to church. Others because I do good deeds and look after people. Others because I’ve been confirmed or baptised and then they asked a Downs Syndrome boy and he just put his fingers into the palms of his hands. This has really stayed with me. Unlike many of you I don’t have many, none apart from Sunday morning, outside commitments and I am very blessed to be able to spend a lot of time studying my bible and praying but I can still get busy and go for a long period without thinking about Jesus which is not what I want. I want to be as consciously aware of His in-dwelling presence as much as I can during the day. Since The Lord spoke to me about his nails and the palms of his hands and I read the interview of the Down’s syndrome boy, I have practised taking seconds out, whatever I’m doing, to just press my middle finger into the palms of my hands (I do have finger nails and it hurts just enough to concentrate my thoughts) and remember what Jesus has done for me.

I have taken points from Spurgeon’s sermon. We spent four weeks studying it in the Ladies group because he covers this one verse in such great depth. I have included the link so you can read the full sermon 10yourselves.

Spurgean starts by stating that the text refers to the seed of Abraham. But the seed of Abraham is the grand type of the Church. And therefore we believe that every word here, in its widest and most extensive sense, belongs to the elect of God—those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and for whom Jesus shed His blood.
Therefore any true Believer who is, through faith, one of the spiritual seed of Abraham, may take the promises to himself

Is a word of wonder; it is intended to excite admiration. drawing attention to something particularly worthy of observation. Heaven and earth may well be astonished that God should engrave upon his hands the names of sinners; that rebels should attain so great a nearness to his heart as to be written upon the palms of his hands. Well might the angels wonder, and be lost in amazement, to man who has rebelled, who has lost all claim upon
God’s favour and deserves his hottest wrath — to man is this given, “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.”

We need to know who the I is. Isaiah would have known the Hebrew Names of God.
We did a study on this in the Ladies group and I can let people have Bible
references etc.
1. Adonai: Lord God – Adonai is the plural form of adon (Lord) and means ‘My Lords’, referring to the Trinity.
2. Yahweh: God– The name of God used most often in the Hebrew Bible, Jehovah in English.
3. El Shaddai:God Almighty– The all sufficient God. It’s an expression that reflects on God’s
strength, majesty, and power.
4. El Roi: The God who sees me– Hagar declares, in Genesis 16:13, “You are El Roi!” You
are God who sees me!”
5. Elohim: Father God / God the Creator – In the beginning [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1). This name comes from being in awe of His power displayed throughout nature. He is the Sovereign God, and God of Eternity.
6. Yahweh Yireh: God Provides
7. Yahweh Ropheka: The God who Heals– He is our Healer, in both body and soul!
8. Yahweh Nissi: The Lord is my Banner–
9. Yahweh Shalom: The God of Peace –
10. Yahweh Tsuri God is My Rock.
11. Yahweh Tsebaoth: The Lord of Hosts. This name can also be translated as ‘The Lord of Armies’
12. El Olam: The Eternal God.
13. Yeshua: Jesus.

The name of Jesus is the fulfilment of all the other names of God .It is the name of salvation. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under Heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). Further John 16:6 says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

No one can write upon the hands of God, but God Himself. Neither our works, prayers, repentance, or faith can write them only a Father, unprompted by anything except the spontaneous and Omnipotent love of His own heart, wrote the names of His people upon His own hands.

Engraved To be permanently fixed in one’s memory or mind.
Spurgeon used this example. ” My dear friend, The Rev. John Anderson, of Helensburgh, told me that while travelling in the east he has frequently seen persons with portraits of their friends upon their hands, so that wherever they went, as one in this country would carry the portrait of a friend in a brooch or a watch, they carry these likenesses printed on their palms. I said to him, “Surely they would wash out.” They might by degrees, he said, but they frequently had them pricked in with strong indelible ink, so that there, while the palm lasts,
there lasts the memorial of the friend.

Whilst I was writing this I watched a BBC interview with an ex-marine who took off his top to reveal a tattoo on his back. It was a dog tag and on it were the names of five of his comrades who had been killed or injured in combat. He said that every time he changed his shirt he was reminded of them

There is also a prophetic reference to a later engraving at Calvary, a writing of the
names, when Jesus Christ submitted His outstretched palms to those engraving
tools, the nails. Then it was that He engraved our names upon the palms of His
“Shall I inscribe you upon the palms of My hands.” My Lord, do You mean me? Yes,
even me, if I, by faith, cling to Your Cross. I am not shut out from Your heart of love,
if by faith I have entered into Your happy family. I know that You remember me or
You would never have helped me to remember You. Glory be to You, O my gracious
“I have inscribed you.” It does not say, “Your name.” The name is there, but that is not all—”I have inscribed you.” I have inscribed your person, your image, your case, your circumstances, your sins, your temptations, your weaknesses, your wants, your works. I have inscribed you—everything about you—all that concerns you.
Upon the palms of His hands
Where it shall be well protected,.The most tender part shall be made the place of the inscription, that to which He is most likely to look. That which His fingers of wisdom enclose, that by which He works His mighty wonders shall be the unceasing remembrance, pledging Him never to forget His chosen. Do notice, it does not say, “I have inscribed you upon the palm of one hand,” but “I have inscribed you upon the palms of My hands.” There are two memorials. His saints shall never be forgotten, for the inscription is put there upon the palm of His right hand of blessing and upon the palm of the left hand of justice. I see Him with
His right hand beckon me—”Come you blessed,” and on the left hand He says, “Depart you cursed,” but not to me, for He sees me in His hand, and cannot curse me. Oh, my Soul, how charming this is, to know that His left hand is under your head, while His right hand does embrace you. Both hands are marked with the memorial—this left hand, which is the hand of cursing, cannot curse me, for it is under my head. It cannot smite, for it has become my strength and my stay, my pillow and my rest. While His right hand does embrace me, to keep me safe from death, and Hell—and to preserve me and bring me to His eternal kingdom in Glory. I have shared this with you not just as a study to gain head knowledge only but to take us deeper into the love of Jesus and then when we begin to understand in our hearts just how much Jesus loves us and what He did for us on the cross we can only fall at His feet in adoration and spending an hour, two hours taking communion and worshipping him is such a joy – how blessed we are. So, I would encourage you today to take communion and linger in His presence. Listed are some hymns and choruses I love. I don’t expect many of you will know the Chris Tomlin one but it really speaks to me and I am
sure you will all have your own favourites.