Andy Hollifield 6-14-17
Song Of Solomon 2:6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.
Psalms 89:13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
Isaiah 40:11 he shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are young.
The word “embrace” is in the bible 8 times. The word “arm” is used 67 times. “Hand” appears 1470 times. The reason those are important is because the Lord does embrace us. To embrace means to take or clasp in the arms, press to the bosom, or hug. Aren’t you glad that as it says in Psalms 3:3 that he is “the lifter up of mine head”. He lifts my head up when it is hanging down and gives me a big hug. That is the promise we have of how he takes care of us. Like the scripture in Isaiah, there has been a lot of times he has had to carry me in his bosom because I was so weak that I just couldn’t go on. I like the next sentence where it says he “gently” leads those that are young. He feeds us like a shepherd. A shepherd leads his sheep; he don’t drive them. John 10:27 says that his sheep hear his voice. What a comfort when you can’t find the way to go and you finally hear him. Another meaning for the word “embrace” is to take or receive gladly or eagerly and to accept willingly. That brings to mind the story of the prodigal son and how the father gladly received his son when he came home. It says he “ran and fell on his neck and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). I am glad that like the son, the Father gladly and eagerly accepts us when we come to him. Regardless of our condition, he hugs us up close to him. The word “embrace” kind of implies affection. You don’t go around hugging people who you don’t have any kind of affection for.
I am also thankful that he has a mighty arm. The interesting thing I noticed when reading about God’s arm, is that it is never folded. It is always outstretched for us and against our enemies. Like a loving father, he defends us against our enemies. Psalms 40:2 says, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings”. Did you catch that? He didn’t call you or lead you but he brought you out of the pit. If he “brought” you out, that sounds to me like he must have been in the pit with you. You were in the miry clay of sin that just kept sucking you in deeper the more you tried to escape. He picked you up and set you upon a rock. He placed you there. That means that he picked you up out of the clay and placed you where he wanted you on solid ground. You didn’t have a thing to do with where you wound up after being retrieved out of the pit of miry clay. He set you in the direction he wanted you to go and from there he leads you and at times carries you in his bosom hugged up real close to his heart. If that isn’t a picture of the love that God has for each of us, I don’t know what is. He is a loving Father and a good shepherd that knows how to care for his sheep. He said he is the “door of the sheepfold” (John 10:1). I am told that a sheepfold is an enclosure for sheep. It has no door but the shepherd sits across the opening ready to defend the sheep against all enemies. He stays on guard so the sheep can get rest. He is there to keep the sheep in and the predators out. Satan is a predator. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:5).
“The hand of the Lord” is mentioned 364 times in the bible. Almost one-fourth of the times the word “hand” is used, it refers to the “hand of the Lord”. The hand of the Lord was upon Elijah and caused him to outrun a chariot. Psalms 118:5 says, “…the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. Ezekiel said in chapter 3 verse 22, the hand of the Lord was strong upon me. The hand of the Lord dried up the Jordan and the Red Sea at different times for the children of Israel. He did it “That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God forever. David said in 1 Chronicles 21:13, “And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the Lord; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man”. I am so thankful that his mercies are very great. Ezra said he got strength from the hand of the Lord.
We could go on and on about the hand of the Lord. It is a joy to know that today, no matter what you may face, the Lord will be the lifter up of your head, if you will let him. When it gets rough, just ask the Lord to embrace you in his arms. The really good news is found in Psalms 37:24 is “though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his right hand”. I am glad that God don’t cast us away just because we may mess up. Instead, when we get weak, he just holds us up. Even though at times the devil may rise up like a cobra and look you in the eye and attempt to tear you down and devour you, look at all the things that you have in Christ. You would not have been able to obtain the grace and mercy of God without him. I am thankful that he is hanging on to us and not the other way around. We might get weak and slip but he never does.
I hope these thoughts, and especially the scriptures, will bring you joy , peace, and encouragement as you go about your day. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!