By Strength of Hand

“I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.”

“Moses said to the people, ‘Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out… When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites,.. and shall give it to you,  you shall set apart to the Lord all that first opens the womb. All the firstborn of your animals that are males shall be the Lord’s… Every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.  And when in time to come your son asks you, “What does this mean?” you shall say, “By a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery”… It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt…’

“And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.”

“Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power,
    your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy…

“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
    Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
    awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
You stretched out your right hand;
    the earth swallowed them.

“You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed;
    you have guided them by your strength…
Because of the greatness of your arm…
You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain,
    the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode,
    the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.” Exodus 3:19; 13:3,11-14,16,21-22; 15:6,11-13,16a,17

What the Lord had promised with His mouth He performed with His strong hand. The plagues, the covering and hemming in behind and before of His people in protection from death, their deliverance from Egypt, the holding back of the sea and leading forward through the wilderness, all came to be by His mighty hand. There was nothing God spoke that He could not perform. (Psalm 139:5)

We can read His promises and think them feel-good mantras, but never tap into their power for us personally. We take the word but not God’s hand. To live by faith and in the power of the Spirit, we must both grasp and yield to His strength of hand.

In what situations do I desperately need the Lord’s hand to move, to remove? To cover, to compel? To steady, to stir? Have I wriggled out from under His protection, or wrestled against Him to determine my own way? What barriers do I need Him to displace, what attitudes to change? What compulsion or pride need I surrender to fully trust Him to work His salvation? (Exodus 14:13-15,21-22,29-31)

Lord, have full sway with Your good will and mighty hand to accomplish all You intend in and through me, for Your glorious ends.

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