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God Keeps Covenant Day 4

ENGRAVED ON THE PALMS OF HIS HANDS

by Wendy D. Beckett

A Thirty-Day Study on God’s Love for Israel

“For the Lord comforts his people 
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
But Zion said, ‘the Lord has forsaken me…’
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”
(Isaiah 49:13-16)

I remember a tense moment in a gathering of Christians and Jews just before the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” was released. The question was asked, “Did the Jews put Jesus on the cross?” Every eye was riveted on the speaker. “No!” he said. “Our sins put Jesus on the cross!” Oh! If only the Church had given such an answer down through its history!

So many Christians through the centuries have believed not only that the Jews were responsible for Jesus’ death but also that God has utterly forsaken them. These Christians think the Church has completely taken the place of the Jewish people as the “Chosen” of God. The history of most of the last 2,000 years would seem to support their belief. 

However, we have examined the Lord’s promises that His love and His Covenant are forever. Does “forever” not apply as well to the last two millennia? Perhaps the following Scriptures give us a clue. 

For a brief moment I abandoned you, (Remember 1,000 years is as a day)
but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 

…I hid my face from you for a moment,
But with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you.”
(Isaiah 54: 7 & 8)

“No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate.
…for the Lord will take delight in you.”
(Isaiah 62:4)

“I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’
‘You are my people’;
and they will say, ‘You are my God.’” (Hosea 2:23)

Paul asks the believers in Rome who were struggling with anti-Jewish emotions: “Did God reject his people? … Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery?”
“Not at all!” comes his resounding answer. (Romans 11:1&11)
—————-

Lord, thank you that You have not forgotten or rejected Your ancient people. You are a faithful God who keeps Covenant and loves unconditionally. Thank You that You are again showing Your compassion to the Jewish people. Help us to love those whom You love – those who are “engraved on the palms of (Your) hands.”

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