Summary: In this message, we will learn about how to remain in the safe place always, by being engraved in the palm of His hands enjoying His care and protection rather than to fall into the hands of the living God receiving His wrath and judgment.
Today, we are going to talk about the mighty hands of God.
In fact, there are approx. 122 Bible references concerning His hands.
Most of these passages talk about the hand of God involved in the creation of the world.
But one of my favorite verses that talks about His hand is found in Isaiah 49:16 (NIV) "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me."
The word "engraved" means - He has etched out or carved our names in His hands.
That means He is telling the whole world how special we are to Him as His very own children.
This thought should encourage us to live for Him always.
Of course, the context of the verse here is about Israel - the people of God.
He is telling the world that Israel is precious to Him.
But based from Romans 9, we are now the new Israel by virtue of our being born again in Christ and being grafted in God's new vine.
And those who do not believe in Christ have been taken out from the vine and thrown into fire.
And so, this verse talks about we are His children, God is our Father and we are precious to His sight.
He wants to always remember us by engraving our names in His hands so that whenever He looks at His hands, He will see us.
It is good to be on God's side, don't you think so?
We belong to Him. This truth alone makes us happy and proud to be a Christian.
God's hand therefore is a symbol of His love, His constant care and protection.
However, the Scripture also talks about being dreadful if we fall in the hands of God.
Hebrews 10:31(NIV) "It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
Again the hands of God is spoken of here but used in a different context.
He uses the word "dreadful" if a person falls into the hands of God.
That word "dreadful" means horrible and frightening.
It means it's horrendous to be part of those who do not believe in God - those who are His enemies.
When a person is against God, when he ignores God's voice, when He disobeys God's commands, when He rejects God's leading and resists the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit, it is like falling into the angry and strong hands of God.
We don't want that to happen, do you?
Because the hand of God here is no longer a symbol of care and protection but of judgment and discipline on sin.
And so, it is the most terrifying and alarming to fall into the hands of an angry God.
That is why, I encourage you to let us remain in the safe place always, let us be engraved in the palm of His hands enjoying His care rather than to fall into the hands of the living God receiving His wrath.
And how we relate to God in this life will determine whether we are one or the other.
Do you love God and obey His words?
Or do you ignore His voice?
It is in this context that we will continue our study on the Book of I Samuel chapter 5 entitled "The Mighty Hands of God".
In this short chapter alone of only 12 verses, the words: "hand of God" is repeated four times: vs. 6, 7, 9 and 11.
The writer is telling us to pay utmost attention on the significance of the use of the hands of God.
It is a warning to all of us that God's hands can be very heavy upon the Philistines as a symbol of His judgment for their sin.
Their sins have piled up because they have killed thousands of foot soldiers from Israel and they have taken the ark of God and they have desecrated God's ark by bringing this to their camp.
Actually, the Philistines thought that they have taken captive and conquered the God of Israel.
They thought that they have been victorious in that battle.
But they were wrong.
They did not know that God was using the Philistines to punish and discipline God's people, Israel.
And so, God's hands was heavy upon the Philistines.
A lot of dreadful and horrible things had happened in their temple, in their city and to their people.
In this study, we will first look at the hand of God heavy upon their idol - Dagon.
Then, we will look at the hand of God heavy upon the people of Ashdod and then, to the people of Akron, inflicting them with illness.
The last verse ends with these words: "the outcry of the city went up to heaven."
That means, it was so horrible that they have never experienced anything like it before.