Isaiah 49 starts off speaking about Jesus. God says he would call him forth from his mother’s womb, that he would make his mouth like a sharp sword, and that he would be God’s servant in whom God would be glorified. Jesus would bring Jacob back and gather Israel to God. God would make Jesus a light to the nations that his salvation would reach the ends of the earth. Every king and every prince would see this and bow before him. God would keep Jesus and give him as a covenant to the people. Jesus would call to the prisoners to come out.
But, Zion, God’s people would say that God had forsaken and forgotten them. However, God says could a woman forget her nursing child and not have compassion on her son? Even if this were possible, God says it is not possible for him to forget his children.
Then, in Isaiah 49:16, God (actually Jesus) says, “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” There’s a permanent mark in the hands of Jesus so that he cannot forget us. He was nailed to the cross in his hands. And, even after Jesus’ resurrection, in his glorified body, he still has engraved in his hands that marks from the crucifixion. In John 20:27, Jesus tells Thomas to put his hand in his hands to see that the marks are still there. We are permanently engraved in the hands of our Lord Jesus so that he will never forget us or forsake us.