«And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you»
THERE IS no greater work of art nor a more ingenious mechanism than a human hand, created by the Great Designer. Isaac Newton, a scholar and mathematician and one of the most prominent scientists in history, exclaimed that «in the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.»
The human hand, a marvel of design and engineering, consists of twenty-nine bones, twenty-nine joints, more than one hundred ligaments, thirty-five muscles, and countless nerves and arteries. Just to control the thumb we need nine muscles and the joint effort of three main nerves of the hand. The capacity of the human hand is impressive: strength, flexibility, dexterity, endurance, and fine motor control. The fingertip is a sensory instrument endowed with an incredible ability to detect, and it does so with a degree of sensitivity that human engineering only begins to emulate in the field of robotics.
If the workmanship of our hands seems wonderful to us, what can be said about the hands of God! The Bible uses expressive anthropomorphic figures to illustrate divine actions. In all of Scripture, even in Paul’s writings, hands are a symbol of God’s love, wisdom, and power. That is the case of Bar-Jesus, the false prophet whom Paul told that the Lord had used His divine hand to reprehend him, as is indicated in the verse that heads today’s reading (see Acts 13:5—12).
God’s hand is powerful. It scattered the stars in the heavens, and they faithfully follow their predetermined orbit.
God’s hand is wise: His right hand does wonders. What can be said about the atom, or even a simple snowflake? As Louis Pasteur said, «A bit of science distances one from God, but a lot of science leads one back to Him.» We marvel at a computer and a smartphone, so imagine the human brain!
The hand of God is gentle, like the expert hand of a doctor who uses a scalpel with precision.
God’s hand protects: He has created us, and He cares for us, shapes us, and also protects us!
God’s hand is just: at the appropriate time, He puts everything in its place.
God’s hand can be resisted, because God made us free to decide. And should we make a bad choice, He comes to our aid (if we ask Him) to transform our character into His image.
I have had the privilege of shaking hands with people of authority and presidents, but nothing is more honorable than for the King of the universe to extend His hand to you—that powerful, wise, gentle, protective, just, and respectful hand.
Those same hands that were nailed to the cross are extended to embrace and guide us.
The hand of the Lord is always extended; you only need to take hold of it.