I lunged out of my seat, walked to the front of the church and stood patiently waiting for the preacher to pray for me. Standing shoulder to shoulder with others I anticipated a breakthrough in my circumstances. Suddenly the preacher pointed his finger at me and prophesied
‘young man the hand of God is on your life’.
I can’t remember another word the speaker said that night but from that moment on I have always believed like Nehemiah
‘The gracious hand of my God was upon me’ Nehemiah 2.8.
But what does it mean to have the hand of God up on us? To answer this question, we might consider three observations concerning the details of a human hand.
It is a highly complex mechanical device. Made of bone, tendon, fat and sensitive nerve fibers the hand is capable of performing thousands of jobs with great accuracy.
Threading a needle is possible because the hand has what is called a ‘precision grip’.
A master pianist can strike 12 notes a second using fingers of one hand only. A skilled surgeon can tie strands of silk thread into knots inside the human heart with just two fingers.
Likewise, the divine hand operates with great precision. The Lord is a meticulous designer and creator. The psalmist declared,
‘We are fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm) 139.14. Cf also, Psalm 8:3. We can have confidence in the fact that God is shaping our character and guiding our destiny with remarkable precision.
Secondly, the hand maneuvers in another function called the ‘power grip’.
Perhaps you’ve seen a road worker using a pneumatic drill. The drill bounces forcefully as it cuts into the hard ground. But the workman is still able to hold the drill firmly and bore through the tarmac. The ‘power grip’ makes it possible to hold an object and prevent it from slipping out of the hand.
“The Lord spoke to the prophet Isaiah saying, “no one can deliver you out of my hand” (Isaiah 48.13).
God’s got an awesome power grip. False prophet Shemiaih couldn’t entice Nehemiah out of God’s will. Nehemiah 6.10,11. Supermodel Potipher’s wife couldn’t seduce Joseph into her bed (Gen 39). Satan couldn’t get Jesus to sin in the wilderness Luke 4.1-13. Empowered by God Jesus, Joseph and Nehemiah resisted temptation. Christians gripped by the power of God will excel and live victoriously.
Thirdly, the hand is capable of a movement known as the ‘hook grip’.
In this action, the fingers are used in such a way as like someone carrying a shopping bag. As Christians, we desire to soar like eagles but sometimes we underestimate the privilege of being carried by God. Read the classic spiritual poem footprints it shows so well how the Lord carries us during our times of trial and suffering.
And lest we forget Jesus carried our sins all the way to the cross. Isaiah prophesied saying that Jesus ‘took up our infirmities and carried all our sorrows’. Isaiah 53.4. God has got a tremendous hook grip.
In summary, to have the gracious hand of God upon us means that the Lord will carry us through our trials, empower us in temptation and perfect us for heaven. God has a precision grip, power grip and hook grip. We are so blessed to be in His hand.