8th October 2016

Written On His Hand

“I took my people in my arms, but they did not acknowledge that I took care of them.”
Hosea 11:3 (GNT)

During a root around in my old toolbox I came across an ancient Woodbine cigarette packet; probably from the 1960s. It had been sliced in half to make a fairly large writing surface and on there was a drawing of a three point plug and instructions on how to wire it up. Don’t ask me who wrote it—after all these years I just don’t know. It did of course remind me that back then there was a saying, “Write it on the back of a fag packet!” Perhaps many of you remember that?

But it also reminded me that God also writes on some strange things. What do I mean by that? Well, we read about him writing names on his hands—Isaiah records this statement in chapter 49 of his book. God is declaring in verses 8-13 of this chapter that he is going to deliver Israel from Babylonian captivity with great power and rejoicing. Notice verses 14-16, “But the people of Jerusalem said, ‘The Lord has abandoned us! He has forgotten us.’ So the Lord answers, ‘Can a woman forget her own baby and not love the child she bore? Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you. Jerusalem, I can never forget you! I have written your name on the palms of my hands.’” Here God declares his total faithfulness to his people! Notice he uses two special illustrations—mother love and a writing on his hands, a constant reminder for himself and for his people!

If we go now to Jeremiah and read the statement where God says, “The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. Although I was like a husband to them, they did not keep that covenant. The new covenant that I will make with the people of Israel will be this: I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (Jeremiah 31:31-33). Again, God is expressing his love for his people and once again writing in a special way, this time on their hearts but notice this covenant is New, not like the old one which was based on merit and works, but internalised, giving them an intimate knowledge of, and fellowship with, God himself!

Just like this old worn fag packet with the writing on it reminds me how to wire up a three point plug, so our Father writes in some funny places too: on his hands reminding us of his faithfulness; and also on our hearts a promise to fill us with his spiritual law of love!

So always remember, he really loves us and puts it in writing to prove it!

Father, thank you for pointing out just how precious we are to you in such a special way—we love you too!

Study by Cliff Neill


cliffneillAbout the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone: 01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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