Whose Hands Strongest?

“I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods.  For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, ‘The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.’  So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.

“Then I set apart twelve of the leading priests: Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their kinsmen. I weighed out to them the silver and gold and the vessels… that the king… had offered… 650 talents of silver, and silver vessels worth 200 talents, and 100 talents of gold, 20 bowls of gold worth 1,000 darics, and two vessels of fine bright bronze as precious as gold. I said to them, ‘You are holy to the Lord, and the vessels are holy, and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering to the Lord, the God of your fathers.  Guard them and keep them until you weigh them before the chief priests…’

“Then we departed… to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambushes by the way. We came to Jerusalem, and there we remained three days.  On the fourth day, within the house of our God, the silver and the gold and the vessels were weighed into the hands of Meremoth the priest, son of Uriah, and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas, and with them were the Levites, Jozabad the son of Jeshua and Noadiah the son of Binnui.” Ezra 8:21-29a,31-33a

Hands surrendered and lifted high in prayer, hands of battle and strategy, hands at work carrying and guarding valuables, hands offering treasure to God. No hands compare to the almighty, good hands of God. Our hands grasp and manipulate, His hands provide, guide and sustain. Our hands defend, His hands deliver. Our hands do good things, His hands are strong and good, establish our work, and are on us for good, always. (Psalm 18:34; 89:13; 90:17; 144:1; 1 Peter 5:6-7)

If God’s hands are strongest, why do we continually want to take matters into our own hands? We fret to control because we are impatient and prideful. We may not claim we know better and are better than God, yet often by our impertinent actions we declare so. If we would pause and realize what our actions really say about our trust in the Lord, we might come to repentance and change our ways.

What would we like to see change in our attitude toward any work before us? What if we began by humbling ourselves and seeking God’s direction, protection, and favor? How might this example make a difference for children, work colleagues, fellow laborers in ministry, our own faith? Weak faith is the result of unused muscles. When will we begin to do our work as those holy to the Lord, His way and for His renown and praise? (Revelation 4:11)

Lord, in every endeavor, may I open and use my hands trusting Yours, and so magnify Christ.

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