by Tad Lindley
Take a look at the palm of your hand for a moment. How much water could you hold in the palm of your hand? I’m looking at mine, and I’d guess about a tablespoon before it started dribbling off of the sides. The prophet Isaiah asked this question about the hand: Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? (40:12 NLT) Well the answer to the question is, “God.” God has held the oceans in his hand. With the span of his hand he has measured the heavens. That’s a huge hand.
Working man’s hands
Consider your fingers. If you are a cell phone and video game addict, you may have thin weak fingers, but if you are a hard worker, your fingers will be thicker and you will have nicks and scars on your hands with stories to tell behind every blemish. God has working man’s hands. He made the moon and the stars in the heavens with his fingers (Psalm 8:3) and he formed the dry land on Earth (Psalm 95:5).
While he’s using his hands for all of the heavy lifting and the hard work of creation, he is also an artist. But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8) He can shape something as massive as a continent and at the same time work with a tiny human like you or me, molding us and shaping us through our daily lives. In Jeremiah 11:1-4, the Lord showed the prophet that he works and reworks nations and even individuals until they come to the image that he desires.
Time and again in Exodus the Lord’s outstretched hand struck against the Egyptians that held the Israelites as slaves. In I Samuel 5:6-9, it was the hand of God that struck the Philistines when they captured the Ark of the Covenant. It is the hand of God that can pluck us out of the water when we are drowning (Psalm 144:7).
I hesitate to even write this, since some might take it as a license to get a tattoo (Leviticus 19:28 tells us not to get tattoos). Few people know that God has a tattoo on the palm of his hand. When the Jewish people cried out in desperation that God had forgotten them, he said, “A woman might forget her nursing child, but I won’t forget you, Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands…” (Isaiah 49:16)
Very human hands
And yet when God was manifest in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16) as the baby born to Mary, when he was breastfeeding must have reached out with that little hand that once measured the vast oceans and the greatness of the sky and rubbed the edge of her garment back and forth between his tiny little fingers. He was in the world and though the world was made by him, the world knew him not (John 1:10) So thirty years later when they brought to him the woman caught in adultery, and he bent down and wrote on the ground, they did not realize that the finger he wrote with had once shaped the moon and the stars. And when the Roman soldier placed the point of that spike into the palm of Jesus’ hand and raised the hammer to drive it through that he was looking right into the hand that opens and satisfies the desires of all living things (Psalm 145:16) And as the hammer came down on the spike and sang as it connected, the man behind the hammer had no idea that this very action had been prophesied by the one whose hand was now impaled to the cross: They pierced my hands and my feet. (Psalm 22:16-17)
Seeing is believing
In fact, when Thomas heard that Jesus had arisen from the dead, he doubted it. So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Someday we’ll see those hands for ourselves. Until then believe and be blessed.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.