Proof God’s Hand Is Still at Work

It’s spring. The time of year bugs and bees and flies and wasps and all manner of flying things creep out of hiding. Dive bombing innocent three-year-old’s (and thirty-some-year-olds) on front porches and back porches and swing sets across the nation.

Devotional Scripture: Exodus 8:16-32
Key Verse: “The works of his hands are faithful and just.” Psalm 111:7

You know what I’m talking about…

Finally seated on my porch swing, nose buried in the latest library find, kids fighting over the hose, a giant bee rivaling the sound of my neighbor’s weed eater, does a flyby at Mach 3. Fighting the urge to scream at my boys to RUN FOR THEIR LIVES, I squeak out a calm and rational, “Don’t worry about it. It’s just a bee.”

But maybe worse than that – are the swarms of gnats you don’t see, until you walk right into them. Hands flailing, I scurry to a different part of the yard while desperately trying not to open my mouth. (Not that I know anything about this. It’s only hypothetical of course.)

Though with the third plague, it was anything but hypothetical. At God’s command, “All the dust of the earth became gnats in all the land of Egypt” (v. 17b). A euphemism for more than you can count (I.e. Abraham’s descendants in Gen. 13:16), all the dust of the earth meant swarms of gnats everywhere. In your home, your yard, your food, your bed. Escaping was not an option.

But according to the Hebrew it may have been more than just annoying swarms of gnats. The word used in this passage is kinnim, which can also mean lice or fleas or something akin to mosquitoes. Hence the fact the gnats were on (not just swarming around) man and beast (v. 17). Clinging, biting, digging, their way into legs and arms and hair, whether made in the image of God or not.

Sounds miserable, doesn’t it? Never in the history of man had an infestation of this magnitude riddled the earth. Babies couldn’t sleep. Mother’s couldn’t help. Fathers were desperate for relief, yet there was none. No amount of washing could rid their bodies of the little buggers.

Annoying for everyone, but catastrophic for Egyptian priests who cleansed themselves incessantly in order to approach the altars of the gods of Egypt. Yet covered in vermin, they couldn’t even get close.

Ironically, this isn’t the first time God brought forth something from the dust of the earth. In Gen. 2:7 he brought forth man. A humbling comparison to say the least, yet Christ died for us anyway.

Unable to produce any additional gnats, or take them away (because surely they tried), the magicians rightly proclaimed to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God” (v. 19). And they were right, of course, it was the LORD. After just three plagues there was no denying the sovereign power of Israel’s God.

Fittingly, when Israel’s deliverance from Egypt is recalled in later Scriptures, so is God’s hand. “And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders” (Deut. 26:8).

Over and over God’s mighty hand is remembered because it was glorious, the delivering of Israel. Undeniably the work of God for all the world to see. It was proof of His existence, proof of His power, and proof of His love. An experience they were never to forget and always to celebrate.

The plagues as crazy as they may sound, are not hard for me to believe. Because God did all kinds of signs and wonders in Bible times.

What’s hard for me – is believing his mighty hand is still at work today. Especially with a front row seat to the chaos happening around the world. The unjust actions of evil men. The persecuted church, the hungry, the poor, the staggering number of women and girls falling prey to sex trafficking.

Or maybe you need look no further than your living room or a diagnosis or a family disagreement to wonder, is God’s mighty hand still active today? Feeling alone you can’t help but wonder if he’s folded his hands and stilled them for one reason or another.

But my friend, “The works of his hands are faithful and just” (Psalm 111:7). He’s not given up on us. But if you’re like me and you need proof, I have some.

Did the sun come up today? Because “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Ps 19:1).

Are the birds outside your window well fed? It’s the Father who feeds them (Matt. 6:26).

Does the eagle still make its nest on high? It’s God who tells him to do so (Job 39:27) Is the ocean still in its rightful place? It’s Jesus who’s holding it there (Job 38:11).

The glorious work of God so often sharing space with all we take for granted, it’s easy to not see it.

Though I need not look outside to see the divine labor of his hands, just the breakfast table. My children are “all the work of his hands” (Job 34:19). The breath of new life an irrefutable testament his fingers have yet to still.

Or perhaps I need simply look in the mirror, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).

But if that’s not enough to prove God’s mighty hand is still at work today, there’s more. Something so glorious, it’s undeniably the work of God. Something we’re never to forget and always to celebrate. Have any ideas? I’ll tell you.

It’s His spirit in us.

The unrepentant sinner brought to their knees by God. Saved by grace through faith. Sealed for the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit. Seated in the heavenly places with Christ. Washed, sanctified, justified, “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).

It’s marvelous, I tell you. His mighty hand not just on display in Egypt, but on display in me. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17).

The redemption of every sinner is proof of His existence, proof of His power, and proof of His love. It’s undeniably the work of God for all the world to see.

So let’s sing for joy at the work of his mighty hands (Ps. 92:4). Let’s celebrate and let’s remember. Though doubt assails me at times, I know Jesus is working because he’s working always in me.

Contemplate and Evaluate:
What proof do you see of God’s mighty hand working today?
How has God personally worked in your life? How does remembering the work He has done, encourage you today?

The Result of Faith

I wrapped it carefully, as though my entire world sat inside that little rectangular box. Curling the ribbon just so – I couldn’t wait for dinner. Couldn’t wait to give my mom her mother’s day present so our little secret could finally taste freedom.

Devotional Scripture: Exodus 2:1-10
Key Verse: “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.” Hebrews 11:23

Married just three months, I knew the baby bib inside that box would shock everyone at the table. “You’re pregnant?” The scene looped through my head over and over. What would they say? How would they react?

I knew there’d be congratulations because we were a polite family and that’s what polite families do. But would they think us too young? Because wasn’t I too young? I stared at the box, willing the growing butterflies keeping my baby company to simmer down. Everything was going to be fine. A baby is a blessing. New life is a blessing, right?

It’s no secret a baby can bring with it all manner of emotion. Everything from elation to trepidation, depending on circumstances. Which has me wondering where Jochebed, mother of Moses, may have fell on the spectrum.

It wasn’t her first baby. She already had a daughter, Miriam, and a son, Aaron, who would have been two at the time (see Ex. 7:7). Though unable to give her children freedom (as a slave in the land of Egypt), she’d been able to give them life – a blessing she’d surely enjoyed. But this time, this time, might be different, finding herself pregnant under an edict to toss all newborn Hebrew boys in the Nile.

Had it been me, I would have been begging God for a girl. “It’d just be easier LORD. Please, please, let it be a girl.” But what if it was a boy? Certainly angst grew right along with her stomach as she waited for her day to come.

“It’s a boy!” Whispered the midwives.  Exodus 2:2 says when she saw “he was a fine child, she hid him three months.” Because what else are you going to do? But Hebrews 11:23 states it was more than elation that caused Jochebed and Amram to hide their son. It was faith.

Faith? But how could it have been faith, if “faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). My take on things – they had a word from the LORD. Because faith is not merely hope, it’s believing in the word of God and acting upon it.

While other mothers were weeping for their littles, Jochebed believed something different for hers. A belief that was by faith. Otherwise, I don’t think she would have sent Miriam along to watch. Nor do I think she would have placed him in the very river that had claimed the lives of so many, unless directed by God.

Left to my own reasoning, I would have gotten as far away from the Nile as possible. Run away if you have to, but don’t go near that river!

Yet there she was among the reeds sweetly surrendering her son in a basket made of papyrus, coated carefully in bitumen and pitch. How you let go, how you walk away, is beyond me.

But she did. And then she waited. For minutes? Hours? Did the river move unusually slow that day as it carried her son into a wake of unknown? Interestingly enough the Hebrew word used for basket in this passage is tebah. It can also be translated ark. It’s used in Scripture only here and in reference to Noah’s ark, which was also covered in bitumen and pitch – a tar like substance to keep things sealed.

A coincidence? No. Noah’s ark was a vessel of salvation for him and his crew, just as that little basket was a vessel of salvation for Moses. And a picture to us of Christ – the vessel of our salvation. It was faith that placed Moses in that ark and faith that places us in Christ.

Though crocodiles were probably a threat, though the basket could have tipped, though someone else could have grabbed him, carried along by God, Moses had never been safer than he was in that basket. (And in Christ, I’d say we could say the same.)

Did Jochebed have any idea how God would save him? Any idea it would be through the princess? I doubt it. But just hours after releasing him to the hand of God, there she sat nursing her sweet boy, and getting paid for it.

Not because she begged and pleaded and threw a fit. Not because she schemed a great plan. Not because she took matters into her own hands. But because she had faith. Faith in a God who is bigger. Faith in a God who is always faithful to his word.

My friend, it’s faith that opens the door to far more than we can imagine (Eph. 3:20). Faith that lends us the opportunity to experience the goodness of God. And faith that allows us to be part of what God is already doing.

God had a plan to save his people. A plan Pharaoh could not stop – or Satan for that matter. For it’s God who “frustrates the plans of the wicked” (Ps. 146:9, NLT). But it’s only by faith we can be part of it.

Because it’s not fits or fighting or a fabulous plan that’s gonna throw a wrench in evil’s way, it’s faith in a God who’s already got it worked out.

If we want to experience the goodness of God, landing a front row seat to his sovereignty in motion. If we want to be part of what God’s already doing. If we want to be front and center of a plan far beyond anything we could ask or imagine – it’s going to require faith.

It may be hard, but walking forward in faith is never a leap into the unknown, it’s a clear path into the sovereign hand of the living God. So what, I ask you, are we waiting for?

Contemplate and Evaluate:
When have you stepped out in faith and experienced the goodness of God in a way you never imagined?
What do you need to trust God with today? Your family? Your future? How can you best walk by faith?