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What Is That In Your Hand (Scott Richardson)


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February 14, 2010

What is That in Your Hand?

About a quarter of the motor cortex in the human brain (the part of the brain which controls all movement in the body) is devoted to the muscles of the hands. How powerful must our hands be to require so much of our brain?

Politicians and men of might see the same potential in the hand. During the Gallic wars, Julius Caesar ordered the thumbs of captured warriors amputated so that when they returned to their country, they would serve as examples and be unable to bear arms again. This practice was later used in a number of wars and in the slave trade.

Darwinists/Marxists certainly recognize the wonder of the hand. How often has their assertion been that the greatest difference between humans and animals is the hand with its opposable thumbs? Would that more would see the hand as did Sir Isaac Newton, “In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.”

Our dictionaries, like the American Heritage Dictionary, speak of the power of the hand in influence and direction. Is it any wonder then, that Scripture places emphasis on the hand — “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)?

The key question is then, “What is that in your hand?” This is the question God asks of Moses in Exodus 4:2. Moses, a leader of sheep, is being asked by God to lead His people from the bondage of Egypt. A staff or rod is a common tool among shepherds, and this is in Moses’ hand. God uses this staff as a symbol of His power, not only to Moses, but to men of might like the Pharaoh in Egypt and to God’s own people in bondage. The staff is not just a piece of wood — it is a message of might.

Judges 3:31 shows us another man who carries wood in his hand. Shamgar, one of the judges raised up by God uses an oxgoad. This is a pointed staff used to prod or goad oxen, which, quite obviously are very different from sheep on their need for guidance. Shamgar is only mentioned here, but just like with the staff of Moses, the power of God is seen through the oxgoad in his hand.

The “little boy David” uses only a sling with stones in his hand in destroying Goliath of the Philistines (1 Samuel 17:50). It is not just a sling in his hand, is it? It is the power of God wielded by a young man of faith. This power delivers a nation.

How many people for how many years are delivered by the well we see in John 4:6? Even the weary Saviour stops here. This is Jacob’s well, dug with a simple shovel in his hand, by which the Saviour delivers hope to so many of the Samaritan people. It is the work of the shovel in Jacob’s hand that continues to deliver hope to a lost world through the continuing message of the Saviour of “living water.”

Five barley loaves and two fish — what are these among five thousand men? This question of the apostle Andrew (John 6:9) might very well be our question. This bread and fish is what the young lad has in his hand, but see the power of God when it is put to the Master’s use! Jesus knows what He is intending to do (John 6:6) — to show the power of God and the message of the kingdom. Jesus delivers them from their immediate hunger as well, “He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted” (John 6:11). What do men see from the example of the fish and bread in the young lad’s hand? “Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” (John 6:14).

“Money can’t but me love” — a well known song lyric, states a valid truth. There are many things that money can’t buy. Simon finds this out first hand in Acts 8:18-23. There are a lot of things that money can buy, but no one thinks of two small copper coins as being worth anything. Yet, this is what the poor widow has in her hand (Mark 12:41-44). Scripture tells us her coins are worth a cent. Today, these 2,000 year old coins can be worth still as little as $3.25. This wonderful lady uses what she has in her hand to assist others, and most importantly, she gives opportunity for a lesson from the blessed Saviour.

Tabitha, or Dorcas, continually holds something in her hand — a needle and thread. At her death, she still speaks through her continual deeds of kindness and charity (Acts 9:36). How overwhelmed are all the widows of the day with the kindness of Tabitha shown through the tunics and other garments (Acts 9:39). She lives a wonderful lesson of godliness with her life and gives a wonderful lesson of the power of God with her death. “But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the body, he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. It became known all over Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.” (Acts 9:40-42). All of this is possible because she has a needle and thread in her hand and uses it for good.

What is that in your hand? This time, the question is directed to you and me. Matthew 25:31-46 tells us of the separation that will come as the Son of Man returns. Those who inherit the kingdom are those that use their hands for the service of God, even if it is “just a cup of cold water in His name given.”

We have, in our hands, the message of God. We must reflect that with our life. Others must hear the message from our lips and see the message in our actions. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (Romans 12:1). “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17). “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:12).

What is that in your hand? Is it the power of God wielded by one of faith?

Scott Richardson

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