For the week of July 31, 1999 / 18 Av 5759
Torah: Devarim / Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25
Haftarah: Isaiah 49:14-51:3

God Writes on His Hands

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands, your walls are ever before me (Isaiah 49:16).

God has engraved his people on the palms of his hands. The context of this statement refers to Zion, which is clearly the people of Jerusalem. The people of his chosen city were so important to God that he went out of his way to remind himself of them.

When God reminds himself of something, it has to do with his desire to give attention to it. While God knows everything, when he is mindful of something, he acts upon it.

I don’t like writing on my hands, but I know people who do. They do so because it is a most effective way to remember something. They cannot help notice the notes they have inscribed upon this often used part of their bodies.

One of the ways their attention is drawn to these notations is by other people noticing:

What’s that on your hand?

Oh that? Uh, that’s uh, oh yeah! Thanks. It’s something I didn’t want to forget.

God has something on his hands:

What’s that on your hand, God?

Oh that? It’s something I don’t want to forget.

Is it possible that God wants us to point out that he has Israel on his hands? Or have you not noticed? Throughout history many things have happened, but the concerns of the Jewish people are something that God keeps coming back to. It is because he has these little notes on his hands.

Another thing happens when something is engraved on your hands. You tend to leave an imprint of what is engraved whenever you touch anything.

How did that phone number get on the wall? And backwards at that? Have you been making notes to yourself on your hands again?

Uh, oh yeah. Well, sorry, but thanks for reminding me. I better take care of that right away.

God leaves imprints of Israel wherever he goes.

How come Israel is in the news again? - How come the Jewish community is in an uproar? - They sure seem to have quite an impact for a relatively small group. - Why do they play such a major role in the Bible?

Could it be that God is trying to get our attention? Maybe he wants us to notice. If these people are so important to him, how should those who say they love him react? Instead of being bothered by what some may think is undo attention and fuss, maybe we need to accept that the welfare of the Jewish people is really important to him.

If God has engraved them on his hands, maybe they should be written on our hearts.

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