BIAY – Judges 6-8 – Hands

There was a story in The Onion a few years ago that I just adored.  It was about how [dolphins evolved opposable thumbs]( and that signaled the end of humanity.  Our hands are pretty amazing.  The things that we can do with our hands (and our opposable thumbs) is amazing.  Take a moment and think back on everything you’ve done with your hands today from the simple, mundane, and everyday to the difficult and unique.  Hands can be used to bless and love and care and they can be used to hurt and maim and destroy.  Hands can communicate a wide variety of things as they write and type and draw and paint.  

In Judges right now we are reading about a man named Gideon.  Yesterday we read the story of God’s call to Gideon and “hand” was used a bunch of times going back to the “hand of the Egyptians” or the “hand of your oppressors.”  Gideon lamented the “hand of Midian.”  Gideon also talks about how weak his clan is and how he is the least in his family.  And yet, God keeps encouraging and pushing him on.  “Go in the strength you have…Am I not sending you?…I will be with you.”  As I read those encouragements, I kept hearing the words of Psalm 139:10 spoken after questioning whether one can be away from the presence of God…

even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.

Then later, Gideon army is shrunken down by God to only a few hundred to defeat the Midianite army after God tells Gideon, 

You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’

There’s a lot that we say we do with our hands and we do.  But there’s even more that can happen when we let God’s power work through our hands in the ways that we love and serve in the world.  We can do amazing things with our hands, yes.  But so much more so when God’s hands are working through ours.  

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