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Touched By The Hand Of God

Job 19:21 (ESV) — Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me!

I know people who love to credit God for all the good things in their lives, but don’t know what to do about anything bad. They are quick to say “praise God” when they like the circumstances, but they are slower to proclaim the same thing when it is a trial or struggle. Why is that? Because humans struggle with acknowledging God’s sovereign will over everything that comes to pass. We don’t mind crediting Him with the good things, but then we quickly look for alternative explanations when the events that unfold are difficult. 

Our passage today touches on the reality that sometimes the hand of God touches us in ways that injure. Job exclaims, “Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me!” Job’s friends are beating up on him. He pleads for them to have mercy on him. Why? Because the hand of God has touched him. This reference to the hand of God touching him is not one of a gentle touch. He is referencing all that has unfolded in his life. He lost his family to tragedy. His own health is afflicted. He’s lost his wealth and possessions. Everything has changed for him. 

We know from the text that Satan is involved in this, but we also learn from the text that Satan cannot do anything that God does not allow or permit for him to do. This is why Job’s statement, while not complete, is accurate. God has ultimately touched him. And sometimes He touches us too. My family has been touched by the hand of God. The Lord took my son at 15 years old. It is a heavy burden to carry. We don’t believe it happened despite God, but as a result of His will. A part of growing in maturity as a Christian is learning to recognize all things as ultimately from God’s hand, and according to His will. 

Of course we won’t understand everything God does. We aren’t supposed to or required to. So instead of understanding, the Bible instructs us to trust Him (Prov. 3:5-6). Trust Him today, friends. Even if His hand touches you, it is not without purpose. He is at work in your life.

Reflection & Journal:
- Why is it vital to recognize God’s hand in all things? 
- What are some moments in your life where God touched you?
- How can we keep our hearts from anger or disillusion in our struggles?

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