Graven on the Palms of His Hands
To the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus: Greetings to you from Isaiah, forty-ninth chapter, sixteenth verse. Well now, beloved, it might be profitable to you and me to just read Isaiah, forty-ninth chapter, sixteenth verse, and see what a wonderful statement that inspired man has left here on the pages of sacred history. Listen to His words: “Behold, I have graven thee on the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” Beloved, for a number of years I quoted that scripture and I thought it said that our names were graven on the palms of His hands and I so quoted that for a number of years. But to my surprise, I read it one day as it really is, and it said, “Behold, I have graven thee on the palms of my hands,” and for a few minutes I was disappointed in the reading of this wonderful verse, but when I had time to think for a moment, I saw that there are hundreds and thousands of people by the same name, but there are no two that look alike. For instance, I know of two Henry Morrisons, and two Will Huffs, and two Jim Joneses, and at least a half dozen John Smiths, but there are no two who look alike.
If it said our names, we might have gotten into trouble at the judgment day, for every one of us would have thought, It was me. But when I saw the wonderful, wonderful thought, “Behold, I have graven thee on the palms of my hands,” it made my very heart leap for joy to think that God didn’t have to look over at Texas or down in Mexico or over in England to find me. He just looks on the palms of His hands and sees me there, and when I thought of it in that light my heart was made to leap for joy. Of course there are people by my name, but no man can stand up at the judgment and say that he is me, and his name will cut no figure in that case. They might change my name after I got to heaven, but that doesn’t matter after I am there myself. It matters not what they call me, just so they call me in time to get in. There is so much difference between a man and his name. It makes but little difference as to what you call him, but what he is means everything.
And today I rejoice in the fact that God has graven us on the palms of His hands. I think when I see myself on God’s hand at the judgment day that I will have enough to shout over for a million years. It will be something like a man beholding his own face in a looking glass, and thank the Lord, there we can shine and shout forever. And then we remember the words of the Lord Jesus when He said upon one occasion, referring to His disciples, and the fact that the devil was trying to destroy them, “No man shall pluck them out of my hands.” That gives us pretty much the same idea as the vision of Isaiah. He evidently saw us graven on the palms of the hands of God the Father. And now the blessed Christ comes along and tells us that no man or power, sinners or devils, can pluck a true disciple out of His hand. I have heard people refer to this and use it as a scripture that taught the impossibility of falling away, but there is no scripture here that teaches that a man could not cast himself away if he desired, but it does teach that no man or devil can take me out of God’s hand and destroy me over my protest.
We know the devil is a mighty devil, but we know the devil hasn’t power enough to make any man in the world do wrong if the man has no desire to do wrong. The devil may tempt a man and that is as far as he can go with it. The temptation may be a fierce one, but even that doesn’t say I have to yield, for God has said, “With every temptation I will make a way for your escape,” and then He said emphatically, “I will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able to bear.”
Bless God, when the artilleries of hell are turned loose on me, all heaven is ready to stand by me and back me up.
No man has to do wrong if he doesn’t want to, for which I say, “Amen!” and, “Glory to God in the highest!” Beloved, just think of it! God has grace enough, power enough, love enough, and sympathy enough to so fill us and undergird us, and uphold us, that there is not a devil in the pit that can come over on God’s territory and capture us and take us over on his side of the fence, unless we ourselves desire to go over. Bless God, the more I know about God, the less I care about the devil; and the more I see in righteousness and holiness and perfect love, the less I see in this old world and the plans and schemes of the devil. The best that the devil has ever been able to get up is awfully poor dope. He can get up lying and stealing and cussing and drinking and fighting and adultery. That is one line of sin in a low, vile order. But he can get up other plans such as secret orders, fraternities, circuses, shows, theaters, ballrooms, card parties, big suppers, moving picture reels, big blowouts in general, and the best construction you can put on it, it produces fret and worry, sorrow, sadness, and disappointment. None of it has ever satisfied a human soul, and it never can and never will. But bless God, you think of a man graven on the palms of God’s hands and with the beautiful promise that no man or devil can pluck us out of the hands of Jesus. Brother, we have something that is worth paying the taxes on. This is worth holding on to with a death grip. Bless God, I have got my eye on the road, and I am scratching gravel toward heaven. Amen! Bless His name! We’ve got the goods.