Monday, March 12, 2007

The Hand And Arm Of God

Matthew 14:24-33 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

When the storm raged the strongest, Peter's faith faltered and he cried out for help. Immediately, the Lord Jesus Christ was there to catch him and hold him up with His hand. The Hand of safety, the hand of comfort, the hand of power, the hand of God.

The theme of God's hand or His arm is one that is frequently seen throughout Scripture. These terms are used in various instances:

1) In Creation.

Jeremiah 32:17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

By His spoken word and stretched out arm, the Lord God made the heaven and the earth. All that we see in creation was made out of nothing by His great power. If our Saviour can make all of creation, why do we think anything else is too hard for Him to do?

2) In Delivering The Nation Of Israel From Egypt.

Jeremiah 32:21 And hast brought forth thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror;

This theme is the one that is repeated the most in regards to God's stretched out arm in the Old Testament. If the Lord could deliver His people from their slavery to Egypt, and then later from their captivity to Babylon, we can be assured that He can deliver us from our sins and from the trials in our lives.

2 Kings 17:36 But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.

Acts 13:17 The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.

3) In Judgment Of His Enemies.

Isaiah is one of my three favourite Old Testament books (the others being Psalms and Song Of Solomon). In it, we see God's judgment against rebellious nations and those who sought to harm His people:

Isaiah 5:25 Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

This last phrase is repeated four more times in Isaiah 9:12, 17, 21; and 10:4. Whenever the Lord delivers His people from their oppressors or their enemies, His hand or outstretched arm brings His people comfort and safety - however, to His enemies, it brings destruction and defeat.

Isaiah 30:30 And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.

Which side are you on? Are you for the Lord and His people - or against them? That all depends upon what you have done with Jesus Christ. If He is your Saviour, then His hand is working on your behalf.

4) In Salvation.

Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, is the only one that has ever been able to bring salvation to this sin-darkened world. There was no one else that could ever save us - for all have sinned and need a Saviour themselves; therefore the Sinless Substitute came to be our Saviour.

Isaiah 59:16-17 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.

Isaiah 63:5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.

Isaiah 52:10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

By His death upon the cross and His shed blood, the Lord Jesus Christ purchased salvation for all who would receive Him. Though the whole world will not accept Jesus and receive His gift of salvation, one day the whole world will see our Saviour!

Isaiah 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

Chapter 53 then goes on to describe how God revealed His arm of salvation: through the Lord Jesus bearing ALL our sins upon the cross, by dying in our place, and being buried in a tomb - and then by rising again the third day. Praise the Lord, it is finished! All who truly turn to the Lord Jesus Christ, in repentance and faith, will be saved.

Has His arm of salvation been revealed to you? Have you received His free gift? If so, all the promises in the remainder of this study are yours to claim.

5) In Ruling And Reigning When He Comes Again.

Isaiah 40:10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

When Jesus comes back for His bride, the church, He will reward those who have been good and faithful servants to Him.

6) In Comfort And Blessing.

This is a verse that has spoken to my heart countless times:

Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Mark 10:13-16 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. (See also Mark 9:36.)

Isaiah 46:4 And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

Exodus 19:4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.

Deuteronomy 32:9-12 For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

The arm of God - promises of provision, guidance and gentleness to both young and old. Surely being carried in His arms is a tremendous comfort to those who love the Lord!

7. In Strength.

Ezra 7:28 And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.

8. In Provision.

Ezra 7:6 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.

Ezra 7:9-10 For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

Ezra 8:17-18 And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, and to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God. And by the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of understanding, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brethren, eighteen;

9. In Protection.

Ezra 8:22 For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.

Ezra 8:31 Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.

10. In Deliverance.

Isaiah 33:2 O LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.

11. In Upholding His Children.

Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.

Jesus Christ is your refuge to run to in all the storms of life, your retreat, your asylum, your place of safety in this troubled world.

Psalms 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

When we stumble and fall in our daily walk with the Lord, He is there to pick us back up, forgive us when we repent, and uphold us (notice the word upholdeth is in present tense in verse 24 - the Lord continually upholds His children). Truly words of comfort and strength to our souls!

The hand of God - He's still got this whole world in His hands. The hand of God - have you placed your life in His hands? If you have trusted the Lord for salvation and placed your hand in His (so to speak), remember: He is holding you and will NEVER let you go.

John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.

12. In Victory.

Psalms 98:1 O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

The Lord Jesus Christ is victorious over all things - over the world, the flesh, the Devil, over sin, death, and the grave. Victory is found only in Him. Are you living in light of that victory? You can!

March 12th/07
Jerry Bouey


Maranatha said...

Amen, Bro. Jerry! I don't know how the unsaved do it. I can't imagine not being able to turn to the Word and be encouraged. Singing praises to the Lord is a natural part of my life! I see Him in everything. There is victory only in One, the Lord Christ Jesus!

Oh Victory in Jesus!!! I love that song :-)

Sis. Julie said...

Great post!!! I too don't know how the unsaved get through their daily life let alone their trying times without the Lord as their Savior and help to get them through. I'm so thankful I have Him in my life to help me through my day. God has been so good to me!!!

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