Who's Holding Us?
In this world, it sometimes seems that we feel downtrodden and defeated; we want to echo the words of the psalmist and of the Christ when they said: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46) We must realize, however, that God has most certainly not forsaken us, and his word has given us an assurance of this.
In Isaiah 49:16, we read that God has said, “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” The idea of God taking us into his hands is a very comforting thought and one that should provide peace to us; when trying times come, though, we wonder where the holding hands of God are. Notice in this passage that God is not only holding his people, but they are “engraved on the palms of his hands.” The idea is that we are permanently in the hands of God, as long as we will stand there; nothing can remove us.
Jesus echoed these words in the New Testament when he said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one." (John 10:27-30) With these words, he assures us that (1) if we are his followers (sheep), then we are held in his hands; (2) if we are held in his hands, then we are held in the Father’s hands; and (3) if we are held in the hands of the Father, no one is able to snatch us out or remove us from those loving hands.
When we feel downtrodden, let us remember this and remember what it means. Notice also from Isaiah 49:16 that when we are in God’s hands, “your walls are continually before me.” God does not passively hold us, just to give us up when danger comes. Walls carry the idea of protection with them; God is our protection. The psalmist writes of this when he says that “many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah. But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” (Psalm 3:2-3)
Let us continually remember that God is our shield. Let us confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” because God has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5-6)