HIS GOOD HAND Andy Hollifield 11-6-19
Jeremiah 26:14 “As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you.” (ALL SCRIPTURE USED IS KJV)
Sometimes, it’s easy to look at the pain and forget about the promises. When God’s wrath and judgment comes, it’s amazing how close we will try to draw to God or blame him. On the other hand, when things in our lives are turning out good, it’s also amazing how quickly we can forget the blessings of God.
Verse 14 of Jeremiah 26 is the statement Jeremiah made to the leaders of Judah when the priests and prophets sought for the princes of the people to put him to death. The only thing he did wrong was to prophesy of God’s coming judgment if they refused to turn back to the Lord. Looking at that verse in a different light, we should apply that principle to our service for the Lord. If we would just amend our ways and doings as verse 13 says, and obey God he will bring blessings instead of judgment to our lives.
We often face circumstances that we don’t understand no matter how hard we try. Joseph told his brothers concerning their evil treatment of him as a young man:
Genesis 50:20 “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”
He had a lifetime of circumstances that were against him even though he honored God in his life. He had done nothing to bring them on but it seemed every event in his life was worse than the one before. We say “I can’t win for losing” and it sure seems that way at times. In those times, we are afraid to say in frustration “What’s next?” because we are afraid we will find out. Paul told the people in Thessalonica:
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” In every thing, not just the good. Just like in the life of Joseph, God is using all of the events of our lives to get us molded into what he wants us to be. Jeremiah also expressed it another way:
Jeremiah 18:4 “And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.”
Ephesians 2:10 says “We are his workmanship.” It is the Lord’s decision what he wants to make us and how he needs to do it for his glory. I am sure Joseph didn’t spend all of his years in Egypt excited about what God was doing in his life. I am also certain that he had no idea how God was getting ready to use him. I would be more inclined to think he probably thought a lot like you and I. He was hated and sold by his brothers into slavery, and endured false accusations from Potiphar’s wife that put him in prison. On top of that, he was forgotten by Pharoah’s butler who he had been in prison with after the butler’s release. I imagine Joseph probably came closer to thinking God had forgotten him rather than preparing him for greater things. God used him to preserve the nation of Israel before a nation was ever thought about.
Ezra and Nehemiah both mentioned repeatedly about the good hand of God being upon them. Ezra had to undergo some horrible demonstrations of God’s prophecies concerning Israel. Nehemiah was broken-hearted about his homeland and had a burden to rebuild it. He was ridiculed, mocked, and harassed the entire time he was working on the wall of Jerusalem. It became so bad they had to work with one hand and have a weapon ready in the other. Don’t you think Nehemiah might have wondered why God had given him that burden and then made his situation so hard to endure?
Stop and examine your life. The circumstances you’re in now may have you heart-broken or at your wit’s end. It’s easy to think in those times, “Where is God and why is he doing this?” Years after his being sold into slavery, Joseph wound up preserving his family and God’s chosen people. Nehemiah, when it was all said and done, built the wall of the city in only 52 days. You may not have to build a wall or preserve a nation but God is preparing you for what he needs to accomplish in your life. Things may be difficult, tiresome, and seem like they are neverending. Don’t try to cry and pray your way out of a blessing. Just like he did with Nehemiah, God is getting you ready to shine. He took a young man from obscurity and through his circumstances, we still read of his life to this day. God’s grace is always sufficient. Get ready for God to make you shine and put you on display with his good hand. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!