“Oh the goodness of Jesus. Your love has come like a mighty flood and it was that love that bound you to the cross, that took you to the grave, before you rose and it is that love that comes again to wash me clean.
“Come to Me, bring me your ‘righteousness’. You need to be cleansed from your own righteousness – you see your own righteousness is like filthy rags to Me. Any sense of your coming close to Me and spending time with Me depends on your own worth, your own ability to hear Me speak to you, your growth, your understanding of My word and obeying Me. If you are depending, in any measure on those things – they are as filthy rags to Me. The only merit you have is from Me – I cleansed you and started a new work in you. Any merit you have is entirely from My grace and because you are now ‘in Jesus’. It is only when you realize this fully in your deepest heart, will you know what it truly means to say ‘not my will but thou will o Lord”.
Thank you Lilly on your observation of being engraved on the Lord’s hands. It is really integral to the second part of ch 49 and how it flows into ch 50. The opening of a new thought is in 49:14. Zion says, “The Lord has abandoned me”, the Lord has forgotten me”. Obviously this refers to the exile and the feeling that the remnant would have had. In the face of the many promises of God’s care for them up to then, they find themselves in exile. Has God truly forgotten them? Has He abandoned them? So up to 50:3 He addresses this. He uses these various pictures of “being engraved on His hands” and a mother not forgetting her child from her womb, whom she is nursing, to show the sureness of His continuing love and concern for them.
Then He launches into a picture of the future blessings that await them and His revenge on those who have oppressed them. But notice His ultimate purpose in this relationship, in vs 26b. “Then all flesh will know that I, Yahweh am your Saviour and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob”.
In ch 50 then He again addresses their sense of separation from Him. Now He is saying they are not divorced from Him but are feeling separated from Him. He speaks of their being sold, not because of Yahweh, but because of their own iniquities. When He wanted a relationship with them they were nowhere to be found. Then he finally denies the thought that He did not have the power or ability to save them. That is why He reminds them of His mighty historic deeds in 50:2b, 3.
Back to square 1 then is it? No He is laying the basis for introducing the whole revelation of His “Solution” to this problem. A Servant is going to come. He will make all he difference to this apparent impasse. So this is the background against which the rest of ch 50 is to be seen, which we will look at next time.
Well what does that mean for us then? For me personally? Just as much as God would never abandon Israel, His chosen people, so He will never abandon us, who are also His chosen people, His loved ones. So Lilly has it completely right, we are engraved on His hands.. He will never forget us, we are completely secure. This is so important because there are times in all our lives when we may feel that He has turned away from us. The good news is that we now have the “Servant” which we will read about as we go on who is making all the difference, under the New Covenant. The One whom this is ultimately all about and the One who makes this all real to us.