In The Hands of God (Part 2)

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David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress; let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.” 2 Samuel 24:14 (NIV)

It doesn’t matter how we got into the situation we are in. As long as our lives are committed to him, we can be sure of this: we are in the hands of God and not at the mercy of our circumstances. And God wants to glorify himself in that situation. This was what we began to see last week from the story of Daniel in the lion’s den in Daniel chapter 6. Now let’s go on from where we stopped.

The bible says all that night when Daniel was sealed inside the den, the king could not sleep. But the king had to wait until dawn before going back to the den. ‘At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den.’ (vs. 19) The king waited until dawn when the situation must have played out its course. Herein lies a lesson for you and me when we find ourselves in the hands of God. Wait for the dawn. Don’t conclude while it is yet night that God’s deliverance is not ever going to come. Wait for the dawn. Listen: ‘Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.’ (Ps. 30:5 – NKJV)  God is never late, but he also never comes before the time. He comes in the nick of time.

I hear God saying to someone, “Wait for the DAWN. Don’t throw in the towel now. Wait for the dawn. Don’t cast off hope and conclude God is unfaithful. Wait for the dawn. Don’t get discouraged and compromise your faith and convictions. Wait for the dawn.” Let us not draw conclusions about God’s power to save or not by our fixed unchanging situation in the night. Wait for the dawn and you will see. Yes it may look like a foregone conclusion that the lions will devour you. They might even now be closing in and there is no one to save. But please remember that you are in the hands of God so wait till it is the dawn of God’s intervention. The bible says that it is good to wait patiently for God.

Daniel waited patiently for God and he delivered him. ‘Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.” (v. 21-22 – NIV)

Notice that God did not shut the lion’s den (to prevent Daniel from being thrown in) but he shut the lions’ mouths. Let us not decide how God will save us. In the hands of God we must be flexible and let God choose how he wants to work out our deliverance. It is no longer us we who are calling the shots. We are in the hands of God. Let him do it his way now.

For example God may choose not to give you an instantaneous healing but might choose to give you a gradual progressive healing until you are completely healed. He knows best, let’s trust him. God may choose to meet your needs by providing day-to-day or need-to-need instead of sending you bulk provision all at once. God might not give you a biological child but he might choose to give you a wonderful adopted child. (But if he has promised you not just a child but that you will give birth to one then hold onto that). What we must hold onto is what God has promised us and not try to work out how he is going to go about it.

Sometimes we have our own good idea of how best God must intervene in our situation if he is to be glorified. And we think, ‘If God doesn’t do it this way, then it cannot be glorious.’ Who told you? We are in the hands of the Almighty so let us be quiet and let God work it out his own way. Then that which may look like a mediocre intervention may actually be a mighty miracle in the making. Please learn to say to yourself ‘Keep silent! God is at work. I am in God’s hands.’

The bible says that when they brought Daniel out and examined him, ‘No wound was found on him’.  In spite of all Daniel went through God kept him from all harm. While he was going through it one might have wondered if he would ever come out in one piece even if he survived. But he was not in the hand of chance. He was in the hands of God.

God is not joking when he promises us that:

‘He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; … The LORD will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life’ (Ps 121:3 and 7 – NIV)

God watches over you when you are in his hands. He watches out for your interests even when you go through the fire, to keep you from all harm. In 2007 when we were getting ready to relocate to South Africa we encountered a situation. The SA embassy became difficult and would not issue permits to my family even though I had a valid residence permit. We thought everything would be sorted out in a few days, but the situation became desperate when things remained unchanged and dragged on for weeks and beyond our departure date and well into the next month. I began to wonder if when the permits eventually were issued, whether we would not have suffered some loss especially in relation to our children’s admission to schools, which needed to be sorted out quickly. But God told me, ‘The Lord will keep you from all harm’, and he did!

God’s intent is to display his glory in our lives as we stand firm in total commitment to him. God is looking for men and women who will shun compromise like Daniel no matter how tough things may become. God is looking for men and women who will walk in purity and integrity in spite of the pressures around; men and women like Daniel, determined to live or die for Christ. This is what it means to put oneself into the hands of God – to yield to him and live for him. Not everyone is in the hands of God. It is only those who have surrendered themselves to him that he can hold. And it is only through such people that God can be glorified.

God was magnified through Daniel before king Darius and all his peoples: ‘Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples (and) nations… “… the God of Daniel… is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”’ (vs. 25-27 – NIV)

God rescues and he saves. And he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. It doesn’t matter what your location or situation is, his power reaches even there. He delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. He will deliver you too.

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