Written by Vicky Ng, Art by Christine Hwang
Â Our God is so majestic and magnificent that He doesnâ€™t have a finite physical body like us. But in many places in the Bible, different authors try to help us to understand the love of God using language and illustration that we can understand. Face, hands, feet, back of the body, these terms have all been used to describe Godâ€™s actions toward men. They help to communicate to us the closeness of God, a God we can understand and approach.
Letâ€™s take a look at this image of the hands. The palms of our hands are made of five long slender bones known as the metacarpals. They join the fourteen finger bones (phalanges), to the eight wrist bones (carpals). These 27 bones (in one hand) along with the muscles, tendons and ligaments allow us to handle almost every single job in our daily life: typing, flipping, gripping, holding, handling, pushing, pulling, wiping, massaging, pinching, groping, tossing, throwing, catching, lifting, touching, shaking, waving, expressing, elevating, lowering, balancing, searching, feeling, outreaching, fighting, punching, beating – the list goes on. There are few things we can do without our hands.
We use our hands to carry out different types of actions, but more importantly they help us to communicate many of our deepest feelings. They are what we extend when we greet a person. They allow us to shorten the distance between strangers. When we do not know how to orally express ourselves, we let our hands to do the job. They communicate our trust, acceptance, joy, sorrow, frustration and anger. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 8:3, â€œWhen I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers.â€ Elsewhere, arm has been used to describe Godâ€™s salvation (Isaiah 53:1). While our arms suggest power and force, our hands suggest intricacy, warmth, intimacy and security. To say that Godâ€™s creative work is done by His fingers helps us to understand His work in our lives and in the world involves loving thoughts, detailed planning, skillful crafting, patient cultivating and joyful forming.
We also see many lines running in different directions on our palms. These are the flexure lines. Some use these lines to tell fortunes, but they are there because of the continual folding of the deeper layer of the skin. The palm is a large surface, almost like a page of a small book. No wonder many find it convenient to write things down on their palm! In Isaiah 49: 15-16, it says, â€œCan 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; your walls are ever before me.â€ Just imagine, God has us in His mind all the time because our names or better still our faces are tattooed on His palms! That tells us how important, dear and valuable we are to God.
Though we have as few as 5 bones in our palm and many of the muscles running through are sheet-like and not bulging, the palm has the advantage of serving as a secure place. Not only can we hide important information there, we can lay small items on the hollow of our palm. And when we make a fist with the help of the 14 finger bones, those small items stay safely in our palm. Jesus told us our salvation is so secure that â€œno one can snatch [you] out of my Fatherâ€™s hand.â€ (John 10:29)
To put all three Bible verses together, we have a picture like this: God our loving Father has used His fingers to thoughtfully make and decorate this universe before lovingly crafting each of us and putting us on the earth. He has the entire universe in His Hands, and watches us day and night and never slumbers. For those who have responded to His calling, He takes particular care of them by carving their names on His Palm and holding onto them tightly so that Satan cannot snatch them out of His Hands. Next time when you take a look at your hands, I hope you will be reminded of a Father who has devoted Himself to creating us, caring for us, and protecting us. I also pray that you will devote yourself to using your hands and other body parts to bring glory to Him.