Tattoos have been around for thousands of years as a permanent form of self-expression, but their popularity came and went. During World War II, tattoos became more popular. Often a serviceman would tattoo “MoM” on his arm as a sign of his love for his mother.
I am not encouraging this form of body art–after all that coiled up snake on your flexed bicep may look like a puny earthworm when you are 70 years old!
Isaiah 49 shares a time when God gave himself a tattoo of sorts. It was a time, like this one, when the people of God were believing something untrue about God. Isaiah 49:14: But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.”
God’s response, in the verses that follow, honors the love of mothers as we celebrate them this weekend:
Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
God speaks of a mother’s love–
- Continuous–Can a woman forget her nursing child?
- Compassionate–would she have no compassion on the son of her womb?
- Undying–the verse speaks of love that spans from nursing child to “son.” The Hebrew word used refers to a child of any age up to and including adulthood.
As God identifies these characteristics of a mother’s love, let us thank God for our mothers, and thank them also, for these wondrous expressions of their love, and many more.
The next verses do not minimize a mother’s love. God, by using motherlove as a basis of comparison, is challenging us to think of the most continuous, compassionate, undying love we know on earth, and then to understand that his love is stronger still.
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
He has “tattooed” us–my name, your name–on the palms of his hands. Engraved us on a place where we will not fail to see us, to remember us, and to remember to have compassion on us.
So if we feel forgotten and forsaken, know that God cannot do that, for Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…
And don’t forget to bless your earthly mother this weekend: Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her…Proverbs 31:28
May grace and peace be multiplied to you,