LORD, Don’t Withdraw Your Right Hand! 4


LORD, Don’t Withdraw Your Right Hand!

Lamentations 2:3 “In fierce anger he has cut off every horn of Israel. He has withdrawn his right hand at the approach of the enemy. He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire that consumes everything around it.”

The book of Lamentations is a lament a cry over the painful experience of Israelites as they were being taken captive by Babylonians. The book laments the sin that led to the captivity. The book laments the bloodshed and ill treatment by Babylonian captors. The book laments above all else the fact that God in anger has allowed these things to happen to His people and His land.

The above quoted Bible text reveals that the Babylonian captivity succeeded because was acting in fierce anger. While it could seem that Babylonians were instruments of pain and torture and death…the writer of lamentations lets us know that, actually behind the success of Babylonians was the fierce anger of their God. If God was for His people, Babylonians would never succeed. Babylonians success was because God was angry with His people. Babylonians were not strong and a mighty army, no! Israel were not weak and inferior to Babylonians, no! The success of the Babylonians and failure of Israel was because God was angry against Israel. Babylonians were opportunistic attackers.

It is therefore correct to say that many times, it is not that we are weak, it is not that our enemies are strong. It is us who have attracted the anger of the LORD in our lives. It is not that cancer has beaten medical science to resolve or that our lifestyle is so bad that cancer finds opportunity to attack, no. Cancer has succeeded because of God’s anger against us. Our sickness are not because of lifestyle, environment, infection, diet and whatever else we blindly blame. It is God’s anger against us and our land that has made us vulnerable to disease. It is not our competitors in business who are smart or corrupt, it is God’s anger against us and our land. It is not the academic work that is challenging. It is not married life that is tough, It is not the employer who is insensitive, it is not what we have always thought it is…it is God’s anger against us, that has made us vulnerable to all misfortunes and failures and frustrations.

Lamentations 2:3 “In fierce anger he has cut off every horn of Israel. He has withdrawn his right hand at the approach of the enemy. He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire that consumes everything around it.”

The Bible text quoted above further explains what exactly happened for Israel to be defeated and taken to captivity. The writer says that God withdrew His right hand from Israel when the enemy was approaching. The unseen right hand of God is the hand that assures safety. The unseen right hand of God is the safety and security of Israel. The unseen right hand of God is the insurance that Israel and all of God’s people have against the enemy and misfortunes. The unseen right hand of God is our defence. The unseen right hand of God though unseen, has been the reason for our progress, pride, happiness, development, peace and salvation.

Because of sin, we despised God and when the enemy approached, God withdrew His right hand. We had enjoyed the right hand of God. Since it was unseen, we at times thought our welfare was because we are bright, clever, experienced and feared, and we forgot that our success and progress was because of the right hand of God. Since it was unseen we stopped praying for God’s protection. Since it was an unseen right hand of God, we assumed and thought that it will be permanently with us regardless of our sinful behaviour. Since it was the unseen right hand of God we thought it was our right and not a God given privilege. Therefore Israel sinned against God whose right hand was protecting them.

When the enemy approached, God withdrew His right hand. God did not punish Israel, He just withdrew His right hand that they no longer cared about. God did not weaken Israel, He just withdrew His right hand that they no longer prayed for and always took it for granted. God did not support the enemies of Israel, He just withdrew His right hand from Israelites who considered doing the will of God to be a burden. When the enemy approached, God withdrew His right hand, and what followed was disaster, death, pain, slavery, torture, losses, and hopelessness. Because God withdrew His unseen right hand that Israel no longer cared about.

How have we treated God’s right hand in our lives? After a long journey do we praise our driving skills and government safety measures on the road, or do we recognise the role of God’s right hand? After a successful completion of an academic programme, do we remember to thank God for His right hand, or do we praise hardworking, determination, teachers, motivation, environment, schools, etc.? When we recover from sickness, do we praise medication, doctors, science, diet, herbs and forget the right hand of God? At celebration of marriage anniversary what or who do we glorify, do we remember the right hand of God? When we excel at work, or our business hit an all time high, do we remember that there is a right hand of God? When we are healthy for so long without disease and troubles, do we remember the right hand of God?

The worst things we do to God is that we forget His right hand that sustains us every minute. We ignore His right hand and instead praise ourselves, our skills and others. This is the reason why God withdrew His right hand from Israel when the enemy approached, because they no longer cared about God. Israel treated worshipping God asa burden. Doing the will of God as backward. Following the guidelines of God as depressing. God therefore was a problem to them. When the enemy approached, the God they were tired of, withdrew His right hand. Don’t we treat God the same way? Don’t we relate with God the same way? Don’t we also ignore His unseen right hand in our lives?

Equivalent to forgetting God’s right hand, is equating God’s right hand to things, ourselves and people. We make God’s contribution in our life to be less than 100%. We treat God as a small item of the ingredients of success and safety. It is sinful to compare God to things or put Him at the same level. Listen to people explain their success and they will put God in a list of things that caused success. With everything else in place and God’s right hand withdrawn, what will follow is disaster. In recovery we thank God and doctors. In business we thank God and hardworking. In school we thank God and teachers. In life progress we thank God and parents or relatives and friends. This is sinful! You cannot compare God or equate God to anyone or anything! If He withdraws His right hand, you are done even with hard work, doctors, teachers, parents and all else in place. God withdrew His right hand from Israel and left them Israelites with their hardworking, their armies, their leaders, their parents, etc. Israel failed with everything place except the right hand of God.

May God forgive us where we have forgotten His right hand in our lives. May God forgive us where we have treated worshipping Him as an inconveniencing burden. May God forgive us where we have equated Him and listed Him in equivalence to other things that gave us success, yet only He gave success. Our prayer is, LORD, do not withdraw your right hand from our lives, in Jesus name, Amen!(c)rkesis@gmail.com (do not delete any part of this post, including this. You are free to share these posts, but do not edit the authorship or content…thank you and be blessed!)


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