“Thy right hand, O, Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.” —Exodus 15:6
How glorious in power is the hand that in the beginning created the heavens and the earth. How glorious in power the hand that made the sun, whose flames leap into space 250,000 miles, a sun with plenty of heat and light, so much given off and only a small part of it used by a universe.
How bounteous the makings of this hand that gives light and warmth. What strength in this hand that holds the sun, a body so large that the moon would have to be set four times as far away from the earth as it is now, in order to give space enough just to set the sun in between earth and moon without rubbing either. How glorious the hand that let light into the earth and pushed the waters back to one place and let the dry land appear. How beautiful in power the hand that brought the trees forth into their first spring-time in the Garden of Eden, that edged its paths with flowers and greens. Here was a spot beyond conception and all odors were a delight. What power in the hand that could mix up dirt and dew and turn it into leaves and ferns, and flowers, each with their own perfume, form and color. What power and glory in the hand that could mix dirt and dew and turn it into a man—and, oh, what power when breath was transferred to the nostrils of man, containing soul stuff that should live forever.
Glorious hand, it operates again, and forth from the side of the man comes the rib, and suddenly transformed, it becomes a mate: a woman in her glory standing by the side of the man. From her eyes come the looks of love, from her lips come the words of companionship, understanding, communion; from her throat echoes through the trees a merry laugh, that sets the man’s heart tapping in responsive joy.
Oh glorious hand of power! It has moved, and out from its palm, eager for the good of His created creatures, flows every blessing—the birds created and singing only for man; the early morning matin of the brook only for man; the trees, the flowers, the animals, the graceful fish slipping among the pond lilies, only for man; a night of rest, and stars, and moon, only for man. Yes, it is God’s move and all He is and has, has moved out to bless man.
This glorious hand of power asks for nothing from man but obedience. It is the only fence set up, and this fence is only set that man might keep in the pasture of blessing. Cross this line and man voluntarily takes himself out of this glorious hand of power, and places himself into the hand of self. This is sin. “We all like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way.”
Eve crossed this line, willingly took the other side of the fence, and asked her mate to follow. Once across the fence, the hand of blessing has another side. It becomes a hand of judgment, and it is God’s move again; but the move is not in blessing but in judgment upon sin. An angel with a sword has taken up his vigil and guard at the fence, and turns every way to keep the sinners with the flag of self floating over their heads, from coming back across the fence and eating of the tree of life, and thus making a cross combination between eternal life and sin.
Cast out! Cast out! Bread and food now by the sweat of their brow. Death there, and sickness, sin and unrest their daily lot. What awful facts. Sin, cast out. God moves! Cast out!
The days go on, the sons of the first pair come before God. God has already taught them that only by blood access to His presence can be had. But Cain wants a religion of his own. He wants to discount and minimize sin and count it a slight thing. He brings his own best efforts, the first of his crop. Abel, in marked contrast, brings a lamb to shed its blood, typical of Christ who is later to shed His blood for the sin of mankind.
God reaches from heaven with fire and consumes Abel’s sacrifice, and Cain is left alone. Maddened, Cain turns not to God in repentance, but to vengeance on his brother. If his heart had been right, he would have repented immediately when he saw the kind of offering which was acceptable to God. If men’s hearts were right today they would turn from their man made religions, seeing that they find no blessing or acceptance from God. On what man-made religion has the fire of a holy life fallen—an all consuming passion of love for God and man?
With Abel dead at the hand of Cain it would seem that only a race of murderers issuing from Cain could be the result. But Seth is born to Adam and Even, and, strangely enough, the Word says when speaking of the offspring of Seth, “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.” It is a new kind of men. These men of Seth might well be called the Sons of God.
The two families move on parted, as God’s curse on Cain intended they should be marked and parted. The ground is no more useful to Cain, but into city building and manufacture he plunges with his children. God had parted these two lines of men. God had put the separating mark on the Cain folks and a mark of virtue on the Seth folks.
But now man makes another move against God’s move of parting, and these sons of God of the Seth line leave their place in the line and go to the daughters of men in the Cain line, and take as many as they choose for their wives, a lustful combination against the move of God which separated them. Virtue, health and power, weds lust, greed and ambition, and the combination is a race of giants who use their thoughts and imaginations for evil continually.
God looks upon this horrible mix-up of lust and passion, and says, “My spirit shall not always strive with man.” He picks Noah to tell the people by word and act that they have only 120 years left to repent and change their ways. Then because men will not move back to the place of blessing, but still want their own way, God moves the waters back from the bowels of the earth, the heavens open, Noah floats in the ark above the waves, and the remainder of mankind goes under the waves. God moved and the race was cast under.
Up comes a new people from the God preserved man Noah and his family. They are of one language. They are blessed, and instead of remembering the blesser and His glorious hand of power, or the other side of His hand in destruction, they turn again to their own way, and with a colossal ambition they start out to make a name for themselves, which will outlive many generations. The ambition takes shape in creating a great city and tower: a tower, as they cry, “that will reach to heaven.”
Again men move and the move is not toward the glorious creator and blesser, but to self exaltation. The result is that God moves and sends confusion to them by making their tongues to forget words and language, and each man finds himself unable to use his former speech. Instead, each speaks in another language, God has moved and men are cast asunder.
At this point God moves in behalf of men again. He ceases to deal with cast asunder men and starts a fresh line of men through Abraham. He gets Abraham to trust him, and starts a race to whom He reveals Himself as a glorious right hand of power.
He selects this race that He might work through it to the blessing of all mankind. He selects this race that through it He might bring a redeemer for all men. The ceremonies, the types, the tabernacle, the temple and all orders for worship, set forth the truth concerning and a foreshadowing of this redeemer. The prophets raised up of God among this race, told of the coming of this redeemer, Jesus Christ. Every pointer pointed down through the years to this coming one.
He comes to earth: Emanuel, God with us. He is born of a virgin, as the prophets foretold, and in the city of Bethlehem, as they said. He made Himself known. He showed that He Himself in human flesh was their same glorious right hand of power. He proved before their very eyes that He was master of sea, and wind, of sickness and death. The glorious right hand of power in the past, had given this same people manna, and meant in the form of great flocks of quail. Now He made a multitude of 5,000 beside women and children sit down, and He fed them with a little boy’s meager lunch.
Oh, how God moved toward men when He came in human form! Blessed Jesus. But here are as sad words as were ever given by tongue or pen, “He came to His own and His own received Him not.” A great race, with a great history and the greatest of opportunities, namely—of welcoming the Savior of the world, but they moved across the fence again from God, the blesser, to their own way. They crucified the Son of God. The line of cleavage between man and God had widened. This race not only walked away from God’s offer of mercy and salvation, but they tried to put Him out of the way forever.
God moves again, Christ had foretold that not one stone of the temple would be left upon another, and that they would be scattered as a race among the races of earth as strangers. God moved as in former times when He said He would, and Jerusalem was destroyed, the race was scattered. They are still scattered. They bear the names of reproach. In this land they are “sheenies,” in other lands they bear like names. Yes, God moved, and they are cast adrift.
God moved in glorious grace on the cross of Christ, “that whosoever believeth on Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” He moved there for all mankind. Even the Jew could turn like a Gentile and find mercy and grace, and salvation in His blood.
We are living now under this last move of mercy on the part of this long stretched out hand of glorious power. “Come” is the last entreaty of God to the world, “and find life and salvation free through My Son, who died for your sin, and is raised again and become your life.” He is God’s heavenly, sinless, all powerful new Adam, offered to men. He, this blessed Son of God, can impart His own life to an open believing heart.
The third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, is using His great and glorious powers of unction, on messengers, in enlightenment upon the Word of God, and in a gentle knocking at the heart’s door, to persuade men to take this One as their salvation. This is God’s great heart move. “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?” Hear, Oh soul, the voice of God and open thy heart. Run back in your mind over these castings of God. Then consider. Can you escape if you neglect the present move of God in your behalf?
His glorious hand has already begun to turn. The nations have neglected His Son, the schools are turning from His written Word—nay worse, nailing it to a cross of criticism. One of the great Bible teachers has compared the Church with the conditions surrounding the moving of God at Babel in the confusion of tongues. They were of one language—so was the early Christian Church. Unity of the Spirit was its mark. “They had all things in common.” Then they got their great building ambition. So did the Church. Numbers, money, power was their ambition. Then confusion of tongues came. So has it come to the professing Christian Church of our day. Sects in numberless groups, denominations, many creeds multiplied. Oh, so many tongues, and yet He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
We have turned to organization, and away from Him. We talk about Him, but not by Him. Our casting down is foretold, “Having a form of godliness, and denying the power thereof.” In the Revelation, Jesus says of this worldly professing Church of confusion and multiplied idea and theories, wealthy and proud, stuck on itself, boasting of its own strength, “I know they works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
Adam and Eve were cast out—the lukewarm church, forsaking a hot-hearted Christ, is spued out, cast down. He goes on, “Because thou sayest I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Oh, if the flood was awful, if God’s judgments in the past have been terrible, what will the judgment of the hand of power be on the age that has rejected God’s gift of His Son?
Already we are in the beginning of sorrow. The black clouds are gathering toward the sun, His hand is turned, the nations are feeling God’s move, the professing and not possessing Church is feeling His move to spue them. The mighty are falling. It is God’s move, and man shall be cast down.