The Hands of God

Title: The Hands of God

Bible Book: Psalms 139 : 5-10

Author: J. Mike Minnix

Subject: God, Hands of; God's Touch; God, Nature of


The Hands of God

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

Sermon 6 in a series of 6 sermons entitled: A Portrait of God


Psalm 139: 5-10

"5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me."

We come now to look at the last message in our series of sermons entitled, "A Portrait of God." We have looked at the eyes of God, the ears of God, the feet of God, the arms of God, and the mouth of God, and we now come to consider the hands of God.

The hands of God are mentioned often in Scripture from many perspectives. We are going to look at the subject today from Psalm 139:5-10 and divide out thoughts into three parts presented clearly in our text. One could spend a lot of time on this subject, but we will put a fence around our thoughts today and keep them in a narrow plane of view. Our mission in this message is to see how the Master’s hand is at work in the believer’s life.

A neighbor noticed a small boy from the house next door running around the block. He had seen the boy pass by four or five times. Knowing that the lad was too small to be a jogger, he stopped him and asked, “Son, what are you doing? I have noticed you running around the block several times.” The little fellow looked at the man as answered, “I am running away from home, but I can’t go very far because I am not allowed to cross the street.”

The passage before us says something like that. The writer tells us that he is hemmed in before and behind by the hand of the Lord upon Him. He can run, but not very far. This is amazingly true of the believer for the hand of the Lord is upon us. We can run but we can’t hide. This is also very comforting!

Back in the mountains they were having an old- fashioned revival. A big, tall, barefooted mountaineer with unusually big feet came into the church and during the revival service was moved to come up to the altar. He knelt at the kneeling bench, and an old deacon, who was almost blind, came over to him, placed his arm around his shoulder, and began to pray. “God bless this man who has come to confess his sins,” he prayed. Then, as his arm dropped, his hand fell upon the big feet of the mountaineer. Resting his palm on the mountaineer's heels, he continued to pray, “And Lord, bless his two little boys that he has brought with him.” Indeed, when it is the hand of the Lord upon you, He blesses you from head to foot!

During the Middle Ages great battles took place for the control of the Holy Land. Efforts to obtain and maintain control of the area were called Crusades. When people came back to Western Europe following the campaigns they would bring so-called holy relics. Among the items was a supposed tooth of Goliath, a tip of the devil's tail, and a bottle that held the breath of Christ. Of course, no one today takes such relics seriously. If we did have the breath of Christ in a bottle, what would it mean? Nothing! The fact is, we have the Hand of the Lord Himself upon us as His Saints right here and right now. We have His breath, the Holy Spirit, in our souls. It is the spiritual presence of Christ in the life of a believer that counts. (adapted from Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997)).

Note with me three ways of viewing the hand of the Lord in our lives.

I. God’s Hand Touching Me

The songwriter penned the words,

“He touched me, Oh, He touched me,

And, Oh, the joy that floods my soul.

Something happened and now I know,

He touched me and made me whole.” (William “Bill” Gaither)

A. He Convicts with the Touch of His Hand

There is a case in the Old Testament that reveals the touch of God’s hand, not upon a person, but upon a wall in the presence of the people. It is a fascinating passage. Look at Daniel 5:5-6 ...

“Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lamp stand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way.”

God did not have to touch Him to convict Him, but only had to touch a nearby wall with His finger. God can always bring conviction and He can do that with the moving of His hand.

B. He Calls with the Touch of His Hand

1. God’s Call to Salvation

In Acts 11:21 we read ...

“The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”

2. God’s Call to Service

Jeremiah 1:9 ...

“Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth.”

C. He Comforts with the Touch of His Hand

Revelation 1:17 reads ...

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.’”

In the very next verse He orders John to write. Note the comfort and call to service in the same passage, given with the added blessing of God's hand..

1 Peter 5:6 states ...

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

God's hand often humbles us, and if we accept that touch properly we can sure thata He will use that same hand to lift us up in due time.

I also see ...

II. God’s Hand Leading Me

In Psalm 23:3 we read that the believer is led by the Shepherd in the paths of righteousness. In the New Testament we read clearly that Jesus is the Good Shepherd who leads His flock, and not just with a staff to beat them, or simply with His eyes upon them, but with His hand upon them. Why is this leadership of God pictured so personally?

A. The Dangers we are to Overcome

A person may follow many leading hands. There are hands in this world which seek to lead us away from God. They may even seem right to us in some circumstances, but listen to Proverbs 14:12 ...

”There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.“

There is only one hand which leads in the way everlasting – that is the hand of God!

In Isaiah 8:11 we read ...

“The LORD spoke to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people.”

In Revelation 14:14 we see the Son of God with a sickle in His hand. Judgment is ready to take place. Then in Revelation 17:14 we read about the Lamb who overcomes the enemy. God leads us because we are on our way to the great day of absolute overcoming when the Lamb of God will settle the issue of the identity of the true God. He is delivering us from many dangers with His hands.

B. The Divinity we are to Observe

What a mighty hand the Lord has. We read in Joshua 4:24 ...

“He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.”

He dried up the Jordan, as He had dried up the Red Sea, with His mighty hand. He uses His hand to show us that He is God and that we can trust Him completely.

Now, note ...

III. God’s Hand Holding Me

Lastly, we are held in the palm of His hand. Note the truth of this.

A. We are Held so that we may be Strengthened

Isaiah 41:10 reads ...

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

He holds you close for He knows what you are going through. A small Arctic Sea bird lives on the rocky cliffs of the northern coastal regions. They come together by the thousands in comparatively small areas an because of the crowded conditions, hundreds of females lay their pear-shaped eggs side by side in a long row on some narrow ledges. Since they all look alike, it is incredible that a mother bird can identify those which belong to her. Yet studies have shown that she knows her own eggs so well that even when one is moved some distance away, she finds it and carries it back to its original location, never confused by what might appear to be a mere "assembly line." God knows us just like that. He is holding you in His hand and no one can take you out of His hand. What a comforting word from God.

B. We are Held so that we may be Singing

Psalm 63:7-8 ...

“Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”

God gives us songs in the night, because He is close enough to hold us. I remember a time when our son was very sick. We could not lay him down, for he screamed if we did so. Jayne tried to rock him but he continued to wail away. I took him in my arms and walked him around the room and he became still. His fever was high and he was uncomfortable, but in my arms he was somehow comforted. It was a long night, but I walked him around for what seemed like hours. By morning his fever had broken. What he needed that night was his father's arms. That is what we need when the way is difficult and the heat of Satan's breath is on our necks. God's hand holds us and gives us songs in the night!

C. We are Held so that we may be Secure

Luke 23:46 states ...

"Jesus called out with a loud voice, 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.' When he had said this, he breathed his last." Even Jesus found it necessary to cast Himself into the Father's hands. He knew the place of comfort and peace. If He needed that, how much more do we need that?

John 10:27-29 reads ...

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand."

Notice that he gives us eternal life. It is not bought. It is not earned. It is not purchased. It is given. The eternal nature of that salvation is wrapped up in who He is, and what He has done, and what He is able to protect. He holds us fast and no one can open His divine hand to remove us from it. Aren't you glad? What a loving and wonderful promise from our Lord. Your salvation has the strength of His hand. My redemption does not depend on me, but rather is assured through His mighty hand holding me secure.


Bakalian writes the following story:

In the town of Stepanavan, Armenia, I met a woman whom everyone called "Palasan's wife." She had her own name, of course, but townspeople called her by her husband's name to show her great honor. When the devastating 1988 earthquake struck Armenia, it was nearly noon, and Palasan was at work. He rushed to the elementary school where his son was a student. The facade was already crumbling, but he entered the building and began pushing children outside to safety. After Palasan had managed to help twenty-eight children out, an aftershock hit that completely collapsed the school building and killed him. So the people of Stepanavan honor his memory and his young widow by calling her Palasan's wife. Sometimes a person's greatest honor is not who they are but to whom they are related. The highest honor of any believer is to be called a disciple of Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for all people. -- L. Nishan Bakalian, Beirut, Lebanon. Leadership, Vol. 15, no. 2.

When you belong to Jesus, you are held in His hands. He will never let you go and never let anyone take you out of His hands. Do you have the security of salvation? Do you know that He is holding you? You can know that by trusting in Him, turning from you life of sin and accepting Him as Lord and Savior. Do that now, for today is the day of salvation.

For those of us who do know Him, we need to trust His strong and mighty hands. Perhaps you have been going through some tough times. You sometimes doubt whether God cares and is concerned for you. Come today and a make a new commitment to trust his nail-scarred hands to hold you, help you and bless you.

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