The Hand of the LORD
… the hand of the Lord will be made known to his servants… (Isaiah 66:14)
In the 1986 World Cup, the famous Argentinean footballer, Diego Maradona, scored a controversial goal by what he later described as "the hand of God." What he really meant was that he had cheated! For it had been his hand that knocked the ball into the net (and while he knew that, he wasn’t about to own up to it with so much at stake!). There is another hand, however, that is far more trustworthy. It is "the hand of the LORD."
The "hand of the LORD" is an expression used in the Bible to mean "God’s intervention" on behalf of His people. God is not remote and distant, but intimately involved in His world and His people’s lives. That is why we see His "hand" at work bringing deliverance, help or guidance, often through circumstances. By "circumstances" we mean the things that happen around us, opportunities that come our way, doors that open or close, commitments that restrain us, events that suddenly take a turn in an unexpected direction; all these are things that God’s hand shapes to lead and bless his people.
For example, Joseph was released from jail and brought to Pharaoh only when God stirred the cupbearer to remember him; Ruth went to glean in the fields, but just happened to find herself in a field that belonged to Boaz, her kinsman-redeemer; Paul, "tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to" (Acts 16:7). God is bigger than any of our circumstances, and He can use them all, or override them all, for our good and for His purpose.
Sometimes, God’s hand can feel frustrating. So, when God took the Israelites "the long way round" from Egypt to Canaan, many were quick to complain. But actually, He was helping them avoid the Philistines on the coastal plain by blocking what would have been the obvious way for them to go. We need to learn not to fight when God when His hand seems to resist our plans at times. For His hand is always a good hand, intimately but powerfully working on our behalf. So ask Him to move His hand for you today.
… your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139:10)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont