But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof. - 1 Samuel 5:6 (KJV)
This week is the last installment in the three-part series The Good Hand verses the Back Hand of God. In it, we will again consider who gets the backhand of God and how to experience the good hand of God on your life!
Scripture indicates that wickedness will always be welcomed with the backhand of God! The text from 1 Samuel turns our attention to a town of tumors! God used his backhand to punish the people of Ashdod. Earlier in 1 Samuel 5, the scriptures indicate that these people had shown irreverence to the God of Israel by stealing the ark of God and setting it in the temple of one of their gods, Dagon. Although God toppled the statue of their false diety twice and struck down their statue of Dagon, they did not repent of their irreverent and prideful behavior but instead, just returned it to its previous location next to the ark. As a result, God trounced the people throughout the territory with tumors. The Almighty's answer to their abominable actions drove the men of Ashdod to cry; "The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for Hishand is harsh toward us and Dagon our god" (1 Samuel 5:7; emphasis mine). The hand of the Lord was heavy on the people of Ashdod because they would not listen or acknowledge His actions.
Read and take heed of God's response to those who do not rightfully revere Him!
“For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.” - Exodus 9:15 (KJV)
“Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power:thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.” - Exodus 15:6 (KJV)
“For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed.” - Deuteronomy 2:15 (KJV)
Furthermore, when God's people willfully walk and often times run down the road of rebellion we will also be rewarded with the backhand of God! Take heed to what God said He will do when we willfully walk away from Him and cancel out the influence of His commandments in our lives!
“And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I [am] the LORD that healeth thee.” - Exodus 15:26 (KJV)
“Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee” - Deuteronomy 28:4 (KJV)
“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.” - Deuteronomy 28:15-16 (KJV)
To secure God's good hand in your life consider and catch hold of the following principles:
Hold fast to your Christ-like convictions
Abide in the eternal influence of the Holy Spirit
Navigate through life in the truth of the Scriptures
Determine to be a disciplined disciple of Christ
By practicing these principles you will be a picture to the people of the world that points to the mighty hand of God!
“That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God forever.” - Joshua 4:24 (KJV)
Not a Sermon But a Thought,