Anglican Morning Devotion for 17 December 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“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. 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
The younger folks reading this devotion may not suffer the loss of memory the way those of my generation do; however, everyone forgets something some time or other whether it be where they left theor car keys, cell phone, or wallet. Far a while, I decided to write notes to myself as a reminder of such things, but then forgot where I left the notes!
For more than forty years, I trained military pilots. In my early years, I found that I needed to write down the aircraft assigned for the day and its parking spot. Where do you suppose I wrote that bit of information down? I wrote it on my hand like all other of the instructor pilots. We never lose our hands – they are always before us and we cannot help but see whatever is written there. As long as the ink lasts, the information will appear on our hands. But ink is temporary, and the cutting of flesh is permanent.
Our Lord has done the latter – He has not only written our names on the palms of His hands, but He has graven them (cut them) there by the nine inch Roman nails driven into His hands. This illustrates the fact that He will never forget His elect. Our names are before Him always – even on the cruel cross at Calvary.
There is an interesting verse that may SEEM to contradict our Lord’s Words in Isaiah 49 concerning graving His elect upon the Palms of His hands: “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:28) This is a condemnation of marking our bodies in an ancient belief that such markings give a mysterious life to the dead. And tattoo’s as well are deformities that cannot be removed without much effort. Does this in any way contradict the Lord’s graving our names on the palms of His hands? Simply stated, it does NOT! Why not?
The answer lies in Christ as Savior and Redeemer. He has made marks in His body for those who were dead in trespasses and sin completely unable to do anything to save their wretched souls. Those whose names are graven on the palms of our Lord do, indeed, live. But having any cuttings on our own flesh will save no one. Those engravings must be in Christ, and ON Christ to be of worth. Our names, if cut onto the palms of our Lord’s hands will never be forgotten. They will appear in the Book of Life. He will never forget us!
How certain is this promise? In our day, we read occasionally of a mother murdering her baby, and we read everyday of thousands of God’s innocent children being murdered and butchered in the mother’s womb. But you can be certain that God takes note of each and every child to whom He has given the mother conception.
God asks, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?” (Isaiah 49:15) We read of it almost daily, do we not? But in the days this text was written, children properly were held in cherished esteem by parents – both born and unborn. It would Have been rare for a mother to forget her sucking child whose life depended upon her breasts hour after hour. But some, even in that day, had the coldness of heart to discard the living child God had granted to them through the miracle of conception. That was rare, but even as rare as that would have been in a day of elevated moral consciousness, The forgetting of the names of His elect would have not only not been rare, it would be impossible just as it is today.
What can the abortionist say when confronted with the Words of the Lord uttered by David: “13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalms 139:13-16)
Our Lord God is no abortionist. That new life in Christ conceived at the moment of salvation is part of Him – and in Him, and He in us! We have the eternal security of our souls in our loving Lord and He knows our names and our every thought.