You’ve certainly played the game with youngsters where behind your back you wrap your hand around a small toy, coin, or item of interest then show both fists and exclaim, “Guess which hand!” You are teaching the child an early lesson on probability and statistics. They begin to understand if it’s been in one hand for so many times, then eventually it must switch to the other hand. They notice patterns. Although they couldn’t write out a formula, they are developing a formula to help them predict potential outcomes. Job’s miserable comforters are playing a little game where they attempt to predict God’s hand. Through their experiential knowledge, they have the statistical formulas worked out as to how God works. If you are blessed then you are righteous, but if you are cursed then you are wicked. Job denies their theory, but he demands God give him an explanation which, we will eventually see, he is unable to comprehend.
We cannot cram the infinite God into a formulaic system. There are too many probabilities in the universe. There are too many factors to consider. Job said it best when he declared, “Lo, their good is not in their hand” (Job 21:16). The wicked really do not have any control over their future. They cannot hack the system. Your life lays vulnerable in the hands of the Almighty God. This would be terrifying if God were like us. We would fear oppression and mistreatment with such power. However, God’s nature is not tainted with our self-centered misgivings. To know God is to know your greatest solace. In Psalm 123, we are given the portrait of a servant watching the hand of his master. We are to have our eyes fixed on the hand of God. His hand directs our path, dispenses His mercy, and disciplines our failures.
We are told of three moments in Scriptures where God’s hand wrote. In Exodus, the hand of God inscribed the directives we know as the ten commandments upon stone. These were the guardrails of righteousness for the people of God. In John 8, a woman was thrown at Jesus’ feet who had failed to follow the commandments. She had been taken in adultery. Jesus stooped down and wrote with his finger on the ground. We are not told what he wrote, but we do see him dispense mercy to the woman, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). The third time we see the hand of God is in the book of Daniel. Those who disregarded the directives and despised the dispensation of mercy found themselves receiving an omen of severe discipline for Babylon’s failure. The book of Hebrews echoes the terror, “The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30-31).
Blessings come from God’s hand but trials also come. Watch God’s hand in your direction, provision, and even the loving discipline of a loving Father. Take the guessing out of your life and rest in His inexhaustible goodness.