Summary: Whose hands do we commit ourselves into? Are we inclined to trust the human hands more? Do we really understand the might of the arms of God and surrender ourselves to Him?
Everlasting Arms of God
• What’s the shortest chapter in the Bible? Psalm 117 (2 verses)
• What’s the longest chapter in the Bible? Psalm 119 (176 verses)
• Which is the central chapter of the Bible? Psalm 118! There’s 594 chapters before Psalm 118 and there’s 594 chapters after Psalm 118. So the middle chapter of the Bible comes between the shortest, and the longest chapters.
Next question: what’s the middle verse of the middle chapter of the Bible? 29 verses in Psalm 118, so the middle verse is v15, and it says this: "Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!" So the central verse of all scripture speaks of the power of God’s hand. That is what we are going to speak about today… God’s Hands
But before we look at God’s hands, let us look at ours..… What are some of the things that we do with our hands?
Now think of some of the things that we do with our hands that reveal who we are. Signature, Handshake etc…
Just the expressions we use about hands reveal how through the use of our hands we reveal our character - because someone may be even-handed, meaning trustable as being fair and impartial: they may be open-handed, meaning that they’re generous, they may have clean hands or dirty hands regarding a matter of integrity, they may have clenched hands speaking of an aggressive spirit, or they may have praying hands, speaking of devotion to God.
Those of us who have studied the Adult Learning styles know that adults learn through all the methods available and using all senses available. Visual being a key sense that is used often. Of course God knows this too.God takes pleasure in giving a number of visual clues about His plans for us. His Creation is beautiful, The sun and the moon and the stars and the wind and the rain …. Everything gives us a clue about what He is or what he wants us to be, or what He wants us to do.. Have you noticed the blossoming of new leaves during the spring time , from apparently lifeless twigs and branches. This is what prompted Luther to write "Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime".
And similarly, to help us understand what scripture means by the expression "the hands of God" He’s given every one of us a couple of them, not only to help us get done the things of life that we need to do, but as visual aids to help us understand how He accomplishes His purposes, not just functionally, but as an expression of His identity.
Hands are such a gift from God, because though God’s thoughts are so much higher than our thoughts, and God’s ways are so much higher than our ways, through our own experience of having hands, using hands, and being on the receiving end of other people’s hands, we can then understand that to place ourselves into the hands of God is to put ourselves into the centre of how God not only does things, but how He expresses His character, His attributes and His identity, of which there are so many facets.
• ... such as in the expression of His power, like in these words in the song of Moses: "Your right hand, O Lord was majestic in power. Your right hand shattered the enemy" (Exodus 15 v6) before that in Exodus 6:6 God told Moses… "Therefore, say to the Israelites: ’I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.
• ... or His creativity, like in these words of praise: "The heaven’s declare the glory of the Lord; the skies proclaim the work of His hands" (Psalm 19 v1)
I am reminded of a story of a little boy ..
Little Philip was spending the weekend with his grandmother after a particularly trying week in infant school. His grandmother decided to take him to the park on Saturday morning. It had been snowing all night and everything was beautiful. His grandmother commented,
’Doesn’t it look like an artist painted this scenery? Did you know God painted this just for you?’
’Yes, ’replied Philip, ’God did it and he did it left handed.’
This confused his grandmother so she asked him, ’What makes you say God did this with his left hand?’ ’Well, ’said Philip, ’we learned at Sunday School last week that Jesus sits on God’s right hand.’
• ... or His sovereignty, like in these words: "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, or with the breadth of His hand marked off the heavens ...?" (Isaiah 40 v12) If you need further proof of God’s Sovereignty let us go to the Chapters 38 to 41 in the book of Job.. this is a powerful demonstration of God’s Sovereignty. He begins by asking Job… where were you when I created the ends of the earth?