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The Held Out Hands Of God

Romans 10:21 (ESV) — But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

I love magic tricks and illusions. I know I’m witnessing something that is fake, but I love the thrill of being tricked. My inability to figure out what they did intrigues me and makes me want to see more. These kinds of illusions are not bad at all. They are fun.

But there are illusions we can live under that are awful for us. One of those illusions many of us live under is that idea that our day-to-day lives are somehow lived out according to our own strength and under our own power. We live forgetful and neglectful of the reality of God’s presence and activity in our lives. We live blinded by a reality happening all around us. 

Our passage today paints this picture when Paul is instructing the church in Rome. He says in Romans 10:21, “But of Israel he says, 'All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.’” Notice God says “all day long I have held out my hand.” The held-out hands of God are benevolent and generous hands that pour out blessing, favor, and provisions on His people. He gives us help and support in our needs. He hears and answers prayers. There is no end to the activity in our daily lives that God is involved in. All day long God holds His hands out to us. 

In the passage we see that He does this even when His people have been a disobedient and contrary bunch. This should encourage us that even in our failures, God is still benevolent and gracious to us. But it should also lead us to live our lives in obedience and surrender to God. His hands are held out to us all day long. He gives grace upon grace to us from our waking up in the morning until our lying down at night for bed. There is never a moment absent of His extended hands of blessing. 

Receive God’s kindness and grace to you with thanksgiving today. Express your gratitude to the God whose hands are held out for you.

Reflection & Journal: 

- What is the image of extended hands meant to convey to us about God’s activity? 

- What are some ways you’ve seen God’s extended hands to you? 

- How should God’s grace to you lead you to live your life?

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