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You Are Precious 

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands;

thy walls are continually before me. (Isa 49:16)

In the olden days when sailors and tourists traveled to other countries, they used to carry an engraved picture of an animal or a thing on their bodies as a reminder. When they looked at the image or picture, they would recall all the memories and events of that particular country from where they had come.

Often sailors used to carve anchors, other people engraved a picture or image of their gods, or the name of their beloved on their bodies. Even in our country Pakistan, some old people have a tattoo on their arms or foreheads. It can be a tattoo of a peacock or the moon or a star. During the process of carving or engraving a tattoo on the body, the person experiences severe pain. In order to have a tattoo, a sharp needle or knife is used which is filled with colored ink. In Europe, modern day techniques are used to engrave tattoos of a lion, eagle, snake, woman or flower over an entire human body. A person also bleeds during this process. Then their tattoo becomes part of their body. It is permanent, irremovable and inseparable.

In the above verse God says, “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands…”

Does God have a palm? Does God have a physical appearance like us? God Himself does not have a face and physical body because He is Spirit, but He chose to use this metaphor that man could understand. In this verse God assures us of His love and faithfulness.

1.      I have redeemed you: “….and all flesh shall know that I, Jehovah, am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. (Isa 49:26)

I have created you; your breath is in my hands. You are mine; you are my personal possession. You are very precious to me. I love you unconditionally and my love is sacrificial. I sent my beloved and only begotten Son into this corrupt world for you. He was with Me eternally and He was in fellowship with Me. My Son was crucified for you, so that you can become part of Me. You are so near and dear to me. I am your God because I have redeemed you from the hands of Satan, and I have made you My child.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12)

I have made you the partaker of My divine nature: “Whereby he hath granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises; that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in that world by lust”(2 Peter 1:4).

I have given you life eternal and your name is written in the Book of Life. I have made a covenant to keep you with Me eternally.

2.      I have suffered for you.

I have infused my Spirit and gave my life to you in the Garden of Eden. I kept you in My fellowship in the Garden of Eden but you disobeyed Me and obeyed the serpent, committed sin, and left My fellowship. In order to bring you back to My fellowship, My beloved and only begotten Son was crucified on the cross for you.

“And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground” (Luke 22:44).

In the Garden of Eden, God the Father gave his breath to Adam; in the Garden of Gethsemane, God the Son gave his blood for Adam. He was arrested presented before the judge and was accused. Finally He was proved to be guilty. People spat on his face, He was blindfolded and beaten. “…Pilate therefore took Jesus and scourged him”(John 19:1).

A crown of thorns was put on His head. His hands and feet were pierced. He shed His precious blood. He endured all the pain, shame, and guilt on the cross and finally He accepted death. “I have first loved and suffered for you.”

In the second part of the verse given above God says,”…thy walls are continually before me.” In the olden times there was a huge wall around the city which was used as a shield for the city. Sometimes these walls were so broad and wide that two horses could run at a time. An ancient city located on the Haripur Hazara Road near Taxila was discovered to have city walls just as wide. God says that thy walls are continually before me. I have surrounded you from all sides. You are secure. You are protected. I will protect you.

3.  I will protect you.

“Thus saith Jehovah, “In an acceptable time I have heard thee… and I will preserve thee, give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;”(Isaiah 49:8).

I will preserve thee (KJV). Our Urdu translation says, “I will protect thee.” It is such a beautiful promise. We all face troubles or fears at any phase of our life such as sickness, troubles, agony, financial crises, sudden disasters and fear of death. As human beings we look for some supernatural powers to love us, to protect us, to take us out of the troubles, and to provide for us. We live under His shelter. Only the holy God can protect us.  

God is omnipresent (all present), omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing). He has the ability to help us out at any place, any time and in any situation. He is not only mighty but Almighty.

Three aspects of protection:

(a)     God protected in the past: As I was with Moses.

“There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee; I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee”(Joshua 1:5).

(b)    God protects us in the present.

“Fear not; for I am with thee:” (Isaiah 43:5).

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God:” (Isaiah 41:10).

 “… and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).

(c)     God will protect us in the future.

“…. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness”(Isaiah 41:10).

It is his promise to be your protector. “Jehovah is thy keeper: Jehovah is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. Jehovah will keep thee from all evil: He will keep thy soul. Jehovah will keep thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and for evermore” (Psalm 121:5-8).

“…he will deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover thee with his pinions, and under his wings shalt thou take refuge: His truth is a shield and a buckler” (Psalm 91:3-4).

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not affrighted, neither be thou dismayed: for Jehovah thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest”(Joshua 1:9).

It was God’s promise for Joshua and now this promise is for you.

Because I am your God and your redeemer, therefore you belong to me. I care for you, I protect you; I am always with you. I walk before you. I guide you. I meet your needs. I grant you health and forgive all your sins. You are mine. No one can snatch you from my mighty hands because I have carved your image on my palm.

God asks you, “I have given my life for you but what have you done for me?

Can you say, “God has forgiven my sins?” If this is the case then you must be thankful to God, and all the promises of God are for you. But if you have not yet had the experience and assurance of personal salvation and fellowship with God through Jesus, then you must give your heart to the Lord.Surrender your body, mind, soul, spirit, your thoughts, your wisdom, your everything. Then God’s promises will be yours and your future will be as bright as the rising sun.May the Lord bless you and keep you safe under his divine protection. Amen.

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