Often we hear someone use the expression, “It’s in God’s hands.” concerning a certain situation they are facing. Or they may say, “It was the hand of God.” after a terrible accident was avoided. Or, a preacher may say, “The hand of God was heavy on me.” We understand what we mean when we say those things.
Jonathan Edwards, a powerful preacher in the 16th Century in New England had a very famous sermon entitled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”
And certainly the Bible talks about God’s right hand. Moses in his song said, “Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in power. Your right hand, O Lord, smashes the enemy.” (Exodus 15:6 NLT) God’s hand shielded Moses from the overpowering of God’s glory as God passed by Moses. Moses could see God’s back but not His face.
The Psalmist recounts that it was God’s right hand and His arm and the light of His presence that led the Hebrews out of bondage in Egypt. His hand is a source of judgment and blessing. The prophet Daniel told of a time when he fell into a deep sleep, “then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.” (Daniel 10:10 NASB) Jesus is seated, now, at God’s right hand. It is a place of honor.
There are many references to God’s powerful right hand.
Certainly Jesus’ hands healed the sick, touched the leper, held the children on His lap, lifted the cup and bread at the Last Supper, and were pierced in the cruel crucifixion.
But there are only 4 references to God’s finger. In Exodus as Pharaoh’s magicians tried to duplicate the plague of gnats to that God sent on Egypt and they couldn’t do it they said, “This is the finger of God.”
But the other 3 references are quite interesting and are the Gospel. The first mention of the finger of God is in Deuteronomy 9:10. Moses wrote, “And the Lord gave me the two tablets of stone written by the finger of God…” The law was written by God’s own finger. Laws that the Hebrew children broke over and over and over again. Just like we do. We are guilty.
Then again, God’s fingers wrote on great King Belshazzar’s palace wall, “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” which means, “You have been weighed in the balances and found deficient.” Judgment for sin. We are all under judgment. Deficient before a holy God. No hope. Yet…there is another instance where God’s finger wrote…in the dust.
In John’s Gospel, chapter 8, a woman is brought and tossed in front of Jesus. She had been caught in the act of adultery. Guilty. The law of Moses said she had to be stoned. The religious leaders were trying to trick Jesus. Quietly, He bent down in the dust and began writing something. Maybe the names of the men in the crowd who had been with is woman themselves. Maybe the Law.
When He finally spoke He said, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Grace!
Law. Judgement. Grace.
Our only hope is in Jesus.