Sunday 6 April 2014
Key Passages: Deuteronomy 4:32-37
“For ask now concerning the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other end, whether any great thing like this has happened, or anything like it has been heard. ‘Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live? Or did God ever try to go and take for himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD himself is God; there us none other besides him…And because he loved your fathers, therefore he chose their descendants after them; and he brought you out of Egypt with his Presence, with his mighty power.”
Psalm 89:13 says “You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand and high is your right hand.”
WHAT IS THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD?
Definitions shade light to any subject. So we shall start with a definition of what the Mighty Hand of God is. The words, “hand” or “right hand” or “arm” is sometimes used for the strength and power of God (1 Sam.5:6,7). God’s right hand speaks of His omnipotence (Exodus 15:6; Psalm 17:7; Psalm 20:6; Psalm 44:3). The right hand of God signifies his defence, protection, presence and support (Psalm 16:8, 11; Psalm 109:31).
The story of Israel while in Egypt as recorded in our key text (Deuteronomy 4:32-37) highlights the following about the mighty hand of God:
- The mighty hand of God can dislodge a nation from within another nation
- The mighty hand of God can disengage the destiny of one people from another people
- The mighty hand of God does actualise God’s purpose for a people
- The mighty hand of God can move a people from slavery to freedom
- The mighty hand of God can move a people from one land to their land of inheritance
For over four centuries, the children of Israel were totally eclipsed, overshadowed and overwhelmed in Egypt, but only the mighty hand of God released her from that bondage. May the mighty hand of God disentangle anyone of us from whatever power that have eclipsed and overshadowed us in life.
Israel’s experience in Egypt is a testimony of what the mighty hand of God can do:
- The mighty hand of God does spectacular things
- The mighty hand of God does impossible things.
- His mighty hand does outstanding things
- His mighty hand does unique things
- His mighty hand can accomplish an overwhelming feat
- His mighty hand can avail for any one of us in any difficult situations of life
May the Mighty Hand of God locate you, and perform unique things, because of his covenant with you!!
HOW DO WE ENGAGE THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD?
This brings us to the next important question. How was Israel disengaged from Egypt? And how do we engage the mighty hand of God? God orchestrated a situation in Egypt for the display of his power (Exodus 7:3-5). He hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that his mighty hand may be displayed. God may have allowed certain situations to exist in your life so that his power may be displayed in your situation.
Many of us have suffered poverty, dejection, disgrace, ridicule, bad luck. Some may say their lives have been wasted. Some have experienced ‘near success syndrome’ wherein blessings elude them.
Two factors led to the display of God’s mighty hand on Egypt and the release of God’s people. First, was their prayer; second, was the covenant God had with Abraham. In Exodus 2:23-25, we read that the children of Israel groaned and cried out. My understanding is that these kind of prayers were not convenient prayers, but desperate cries unto God. I have often wondered whether this prayer among the children of Israel was organised by their leaders or it was spontaneous.
We can engage the mighty hand of God through agonising prayer. God is waiting for the prayer and groaning of some of us before he displays his mighty hand. Bear in mind that God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when the children of Israel prayed.
However, let us not be like Israel who prayed, but when God sent Moses the deliverer, they almost rejected him. They prayed for God’s deliverance, but when difficulties arose on the way they wanted to return to Egypt. They prayed, but murmured when difficulties arose. They prayed for freedom from slavery, but when they were freed they turned around to worship idols. God’s mighty hand is revealed in difficulties, but also brings challenges.
WHAT THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD CAN DO FOR US
- The mighty hand of God can deliver us
- The right hand of God gives us victory (Psalm 44:3)
- The mighty hand of God can save us from every danger (Psalm 20:6)
- The mighty hand of God can set captives free
- The mighty hand of God empowers people to do the impossible. The hand of God empowered Samson to do impossible feats, as well as Moses, Nehemiah, Ezra etc
- The hand of God equips for tasks. He equipped Nehemiah, Ezra, Zerubbabel to rebuild the walls and temple at Jerusalem
- The hand of God sustains in crisis. The hand of God sustained Israel in the wilderness
- The hand of God provides for our needs. The hand of God provided for Israel all through the wilderness
May God reveal the power of his mighty hand to us!! May his mighty arm prevail for us the way it prevailed for Israel in Egypt. Amen.