When you hear the phrase “the hand of God,” what comes to mind?

Many times people invoke that expression when they are referring to some terrible disaster or devastating turn of events.  There is no doubt that God is powerfully present in His creation, is actively judging the affairs of men, and is strategically orchestrating the movement of history toward the glorious return of His Son.  Still, we must be cautious in what we attribute to God, and yet not be blind either, “O Lord, Your hand is lifted up yet they do not see it” (Isaiah 26:11 NASB).

Others are unquestionably feeling the weight of God’s hand just like David, “When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat” (Psalm 32:3-4 NLT).  We can be certain that the love of God will not leave us alone to hide in our sin.  Unless your conscience has been seared and your heart is hardened against Him, the Spirit will relentlessly pursue you with a heavy and restless conviction until you move toward confession and cleansing.  Been there.

But focus on this aspect of His hands for a minute: “You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me” (Psalm 139:5 NASB).  I love the way the NLT phrases it, “You go before me and follow me. You place Your hand of blessing on my head.”  How amazing is this truth?!  Hands that powerfully sculpted the universe, tenderly hold you.  Hands that sovereignly move the very course of history, lovingly encompass the path of your life.  And where the Shepherd leads, goodness and lovingkindness surely follow (Psalm 23).

I believe the New Testament equivalent of this thought is found in Jesus’ words, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (John 10:27-30 ESV).  Do you see it?  You are twice blessed.  Encircled by both the hands of the Father and the Son!  What a vivid picture of God’s loving protection and eternal security!

In one of Israel’s darkest times, the Lord spoke these beautiful words of comfort and assurance to Zion (Jerusalem), “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands, your walls are ever before Me.”  Don’t you wish the Lord said that to you?!

Rather than simply saying it, He showed it.  Jesus literally inscribed us on the palms of His hands.  Not with a pen, but a nail.  Not with ink, but with blood.  For the hands that embrace your life, also bear your name.  And because it was written with His precious blood, Jesus will never let you go.

For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands” (Psalm 92:4 NASB).

 

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