Take a moment and look down at your hand. Now think; what has that hand done today, this week, this month, this year? Our hands are probably the most productive part of our physical bodies. In Genesis 1 it states that “God created man in his own image”. Therefore, we can conclude that God also has hands—a fact that is also backed by many mentions of the Hand of God, Hand of the Lord, and other references to God’s Hand in the Bible. Let’s take a look at the Hand of God today.
Just like our hands, God’s hands are able to do many different things. They can create, destroy, provide, punish, guide, bless, and many, many other things. I would like to look at a few things that the Hand of God can do in our lives and one that we will want to avoid.
- Provide. There are many mentions of God’s provision for his people, the Israelites. The book of Ezra is set in a time when the nation of Israel was in disarray and a great number of the Israelites were taken into captivity. However, Ezra was granted “all his request, according to the hand of the LORD” (Ezr. 7:6) in order to go back to Jerusalem to instruct the children of Israel and reestablish the Temple.
- Protect. God protects the Israelites many times in the old testament and the apostles and believers in the new testament. In 1 Samuel 7 the Israelites are in conflict with the Philistines. Samuel, God’s prophet, instructs the children of Israel to put away their false gods and turn to serve God alone. They follow his instruction and ask Samuel to cry to God to save them from the Philistines. God did deliver them and it goes on to mention “the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.” (1 Sam. 7:13)
- Bless. The blessings of God are something we all desire in our lives. His blessings can be found numerous times in the Bible. One particular instance we may overlook, due to the many overwhelming hardships in the account, is Job. Job was blessed by God, but then Satan wanted to turn Job away from the Lord by taking away those blessings. Job recognized where his wealth and prosperity came from and continued to serve God. “shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin”. (Job 2:10) The hand of God later blessed Job over and above what he had before the hardships.
- Punish. The three mentioned above were good things that we all probably desire in our lives. But the Hand of God can also punish. Back in 1 Samuel 5 the Philistines had taken the Ark of God and placed it in the temple of their false god, Dagon. Because of their irreverence to the Ark of God “there was a deadly destruction through all the city: the hand of God was heavy there.” (1 Sam. 5:11)
Now that we’ve seen a few things the Hand of God can do in our lives, what do you want the Hand of God to do in your life? Are you crying unto Him for his provision and protection? Are you trying to avoid His chastening hand in your life? Study these passages and others to see what the people did to have the Hand of God move in their lives in these ways. Also, consider how you can use your hands to be a blessing in someone else’s life today.
Written by Mike Carruthers