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Message from the Connexional Bishop

STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND


Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left Exodus 14: 21-22.


Confidence in God and an outstretched hand can result in gracious blessings.


After being liberated marvelously and powerfully from Egypt and Egyptian enslavement, and excitingly journeying to the Promised Land, the Israelites were suddenly trapped against the Sea of Reeds with the mighty Egyptian army in hot pursuit. The Egyptian military were sweeping in for the kill. The Israelites, believing they were doomed (Exod. 14:11), became hostile, terrified, despairing, and began whining (see V. 11 &12). What followed was miraculous.


The Bible says: “Moses stretched out his hand over the sea” and God, who is omnipotent, caused a clear and safe way to be created through the sea for God’s children, and a way to destruction for Pharaoh and his armies. The combined activities of God and Moses took a devastating toll on the Egyptians. What grabs my attention is the sentence: “Moses stretched out his hand over the sea”. It is inspiring, interesting, and intriguing that the hand is stretched out, power unleashed, and a miracle wrought.


When someone stretches out a hand in faith, something happens. When a person is speaking, and the crowd gets excited or applauds a significant point, the speaker, after a while, will stretch out his or her hand, and the noise ceases. There are many biblical verses where God instructs persons to stretch out their hand, such as Joshua (Josh. 8:18, 19, 26); or Moses (see Exod. 7:19, 9:22); or where God does the same (Isa. 5:25 and Ezek. 25:7).


Spiritually, an outstretched hand is representative of Divine omnipotence; it therefore has force. We stretch out our hands to give, help, bless, and welcome. Have you ever stretched out your hand, physically or virtually, over your child, a co-worker, a class of children, a Sunday School class, your spouse, the church, your country, or a situation? There are times in our lives when we must, in the name of God and in faith, stretch out our hand over persons or circumstances.


Therefore, take time to regularly commune with God, and immerse yourself in God’s presence. If you feel overwhelmed, believing that stress and struggles are pursuing you, don’t dwell on what looms ahead, or what may be coming up from behind. Focus instead on God and rely on God’s power – not your own. Trust God and stretch out your hand over that person or situation and know full well that God’s power will come to make a way where there seems to be no way.

Thought: Let the power of God work through your outstretched hand.


Prayer: Lord! In faith I stretch out my hand over the situations and persons who are of great concern to me. Loving God, part their Red Seas and let them know that there is One God, Jehovah. Amen.

Everald Galbraith

11-9-2020

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