14 Jerusalem says, “Yahweh has deserted us;
Adonai has forgotten us.”
15 [Yahweh responds,] “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child?
Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?
But even if that were possible,
I would not forget you!
16 See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins." (Isaiah 49:14b-16, NLT)
Ray Ortlund reflects,
God is addressing Zion. In Isaiah's culture, a city was thought of in the feminine gender. That's why this final section of the passage is filled with images of Lady Zion and her children -- in our terms today, the church and her members. And God is saying that he will never abandon his family.
His love is more mindful than even the love of a tenderly nursing mother. God is love (1 John 4:8-10).
The imagery of verse 16 suggests a vision of God spreading out his hands before us, so that we can see our very names engraved there. Have we thought through how profoundly we're loved by God? If his assurances do not move us, what more are we holding out for?
Isn't the love of GOD enough?
(emphasis and paragraphing mine)