The word should arrest us and draw us in for a closer look. In Scripture, behold acts as a signpost pointing to something wonderful that deserves our closest attention.
Behold, I have engraved you in the palms of my hands (Isaiah 49:16).
In the preceding verse, the claim is made that God has forsaken and forgotten His people. Unbelief strikes again—forgetting God’s past faithfulness in keeping His promises, in supplying all we need for life and godliness, in holding us together by the word of His power.
So God replies with “Behold.” God Himself in Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, has inscribed the names of His people—fallen, broken, sinful, rebellious— in the palms of His hands. God knew us before we knew ourselves. Residing in the mind and heart of God before time began, the bride of Christ was listed in the Lamb’s book of life and engraved in the palms of our Lord.
Do you ever live as if God keeps a stock room supplied with erasers? I think every trial that comes my way exposes cracks in my faith and the secret plagues of my heart. Will God really answer my prayer? Will I really have everything I need next week, month, year, or an hour from now? Can I really trust God with my children, spouse, cantankerous next-door neighbor? Is God really in control of this city, state, country, terrorism, North Korea, Iran, Syria. . .?
As I contemplate my fears and weaknesses, Isaiah 49:16 serves as an antidote to my disease, powerfully reversing the course of my doubting heart. Jesus Christ knows me and remembers me every second of every day. I love what Spurgeon says about this verse, tying it to our Lord’s nail-scared hands.
The prints of the nails constitute forget-me-nots of a peculiarly personal and abiding kind: “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands.” By these marks He sees what He has already suffered, and He pledges Himself to do nothing apart from those sufferings, for His hands, with which He works, are pierced.
Jesus Himself directed His disciples to find their joy in the fact that their names were written in heaven, not in discovering that the spirits were subject to them (Luke 10:20). How easily distracted we are from the truth that joy, true unalloyed delight, is found in Jesus alone—not our abilities, possessions, family, careers, ministries, credentials, good health, friendships, or any other non-God thing.
Follower of Jesus, whatever you’re dealing with today—and we’re all dealing with something—remember these things with me:
We have been justified by faith in Christ alone.
Christ is our righteousness.
Our sins have been forgiven at the cross.
God’s wrath has been removed.
We have been saved, are being save, and will be saved.
We have been reconciled to God.
We have been adopted into God’s family.
We were bought with a price.
We are God’s chosen people.
We are the bride of Christ.
Our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
We are being sanctified.
God withholds no good thing from us.
God never leaves us or forsakes us.
God has given us the Holy Spirit.
We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.
God strengthens us with the gospel.
Our lives are built on the mercies of God.
God has granted to us His precious and very great promises.
And all of these things are true for us because our names are engraved on the palms of Jesus, whose presence brings fullness of joy, whose right hand points to pleasures forevermore.