Around Easter time each year, believers in Christ all around the world reflect and consider the nail-pierced hands of Jesus probably more than any other time of the year. It’s a time that makes us think about His hands and feet pierced upon the cross for our iniquities.
However, the crucifixion accounts are not the only places where God’s hands are mentioned. Matter of fact, there are several verses, too many for even this article, that mention the hand of God.
For example, in Deuteronomy 3:24, we learn of the strength of God’s hand, “O Sovereign Lord, you have only begun to show your greatness and the strength of your hand to me, your servant…”
In Joshua 4:24, we read of his powerful hand, “He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”
In Ecclesiastes 2:24, we see where pleasures come from, “So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.”
In Isaiah 43:13 we see God’s hand keeping us secure, “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.”
While there are several other descriptions of God’s hand, the one that stopped me in my tracks was Ezra 7:9-10, “…the gracious hand of his God was upon him. For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.”
The reason this verse stood out to me above the rest is it gave the WHY. Why was God’s gracious hand extended towards Ezra? Because Ezra determined to study God’s Word, observe God’s Word and teach God’s Word.
Ezra had devoted himself to the study of God’s Word. Devotion is a determined dedication. The study was not something he decided to do if he had time each day; it was a fixed structure in his life. This needs to be true of you and me as well. Spending daily time reading the Bible, memorizing verses, and meditating on scripture needs to be a fixed “done deal” in our lives as well.
Ezra was also determined to obey God’s Word. His observance of the Law meant that he put into practice that which he was studying. Ezra strived to have his actions line up with his learning.
James says 1:22, exhorts us to this end as well when it says, “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says.”
God’s gracious hand is upon those who study His word and obey what they learn. Ezra went the next step and taught what he had learned.
We cannot keep the knowledge to ourselves. We must, in multiple ways, look for opportunities to teach what we have gleaned from scripture.
Paul said in Acts 20:20, “You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.”
We can teach by discipling another person, perhaps by volunteering in Sunday School at church with children and youth, or a local neighborhood or office Bible study. The church, and the world at large, needs people who read the Word, put it into practice, and are willing to teach what they have learned to others.
As you read through scripture, observe the many times God’s hand is mentioned and then seek to be the hands of Christ to others by reading the Bible, obeying its precepts, and teaching others of his love, forgiveness, and grace.
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