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Sermon 7-12-09
Isaiah 49:15-16 - My Hands

Audio Sermon

My Hands

Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the child of her womb? Surely they may forget. Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands…” (Isaiah 49:15-16)

There are needs in life that we all have. Some might do dangerous things, but the wild and dangerous person also tries to CONTROL what happens. People try to have fun and seem to be wild and free, but also, he or she will likely try to be SAFE within certain limits, all at the same time. People have the need to be ADMIRED and many get so involved with the need that when they succeed and are admired for something or other, they get mixed up, thinking that if they’re admired, that’s love. It’s actually narcissism, not love, but so many want to BE loved, not really caring or understanding that others need love as well.

We can get confused about what will give us security and safety, thinking that MONEY will provide the admiration, security and love needed by those in humanity. We should note that money is made from paper and if we build our house out of paper, it definitely will not last. We make money, but will lose it, and what’s left of it will go to somebody else.

Men are less likely than women to understand the gifts that the Lord has given us. If a woman is brought into a man’s life by the grace of God, there is the potential for JOY in delighting her, loving her and letting her know how wonderful she is. But all too often men want to BE loved more than they want to give love. Giving to her can be like a sales campaign, and the campaign to win her heart is all too often over when she says “Yes!” Actually the need to please her truly BEGINS at that point, and it’s a truth for both of them. Happiness in marriage or in anything else is not achieved by demanding love from the other, but instead happiness for you is actually found by producing joy in the one you love.

It’s interesting that women often understand more than men do. Women give love, feel love, and if the children of a marriage have a chance to find needed feelings of security and safety, it’s often the Mom who makes them feel that way. All too often historically the man is gone; to war, to his job, is immersed in some project or he is gone for good.

In today’s Scripture, the question is asked, “Can a woman forget her nursing child?” and the answer through the centuries, through the millennia, has been – NO! It’s often the woman who brings the love we all need. But humanity is degenerating in its attempt to be “modern,” and women of today care less about the gifts of God in our lives. Children, less-and-less are thought of as a “blessing,” and more-and-more as an impediment to careers. An unborn child is labeled as a “fetus,” which is defined as some kind of disposable bodily tissue. We pretend like the children we are, also pretending we are mature adults making rational decisions.

It is God who brings the wife to the man and him to her. He offers us the gift of love and when the two go their separate ways, it is because we have failed to see the other’s need to be loved, focusing instead on ourselves. And the child, the children. A great need for individual human beings is to become part of the creative process. To invent something that will be significant and meaningful; something that will be remembered after you are gone. Better than fame or money or power or significance is the creation of a child, a human being and then nurturing them, encouraging them to be everything they can be.

And yet, though women have shown notable love for their children, the Scripture for today includes the sad note, but “surely they may forget.” We live in a time when women no longer wait for their men to come home and march with them in the creation of a home, in the nurturing of children and the forming of lives into one, through the power and the wonder of love. Women want to be loved, too, and are saying, “my children can wait – it’s me first.”

As said before, throughout history, men have marched off to war, following some kind of dream or have just decided to not go home. But now, more and more women have decided to become like their men. Instead of caring for others, they look out for themselves.

Did you mother love you? If so, you are blessed by God and you should thank Him every day. And the best way to say “Thank You” is to pass that love on. Take the risk of loving your spouse, your child, giving up your life for someone else, instead of forcing them to give up their lives for you. Love is a legacy that can LAST! If you didn’t feel loved as a child, you have the opportunity to give someone else the love you did not have. And amazingly, when you give honest, pure, wholesome love, your very being will radiate with the love you have always wanted and needed. As St. Francis taught us, “it is in giving that we receive.”

To overcome through effort our anger at what was not done for us is actually impossible. If we were abused and neglected, we tend to raise angry children who will do the same, extending selfish anger to another generation. A need for love turned into anger is a sad reality for many and the only cure, our only hope is reflected in today’s Scripture.

The love we cannot effectively give, the love that most don’t even WANT to give becomes possible when our lives are given over to the Lord. He is the God of miracles who can and will change you and me for the better, in ways we will actually LIKE.

He knows your name. More than merely knowing about you, He knew YOU, before you even existed. He carefully fashioned you in your mother’s womb. He has protected you more times than you can imagine. Even our so-called “faults” have been carefully allowed, with the intention that all of us will be drawn out of the ashes of our failures into new life. As He says, “I will never forget you.”

We are given amazing words of love, written hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, who was to die a terrible death as the remedy for our sins: “See," He said, "I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands” (Isaiah 49:16). Scholars recently have said that crucifixion did not involve the hands, but instead the terrible nails went through the wrists. But it was revealed to Isaiah the prophet that the "hands" of our Savior would be pierced for our sins. It was also revealed to David, who foretold the thought of Jesus: “They have pierced My hands and feet” (Psalm 22:16). They tied His wrists to the wood and pierced His hands with nails. He literally loved you to death, His death, and He did it so you will become able to love.

Dear Lord, forgive me for my selfishness, my refusal to love as You have intended. I cannot do it, Lord; I can only come to You and say – please help me. Thank You for loving me so much that You died for me. I entrust my heart, my life to You. Teach me to love.  In Jesus Name. Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries

Write to: Letters@FridayStudy.org

"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)

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