Tag Archives: Hands

Singing with the King (54) – The Work of Man’s Hands

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak… They cannot make a sound with their throat. (Psalm 115:4,5)

In the context of this Psalm, we have a radical turn, which changes the focus from the eternal, unchanging, transcendent, and living LORD God, to that of idols. This perhaps is the greatest of contrasts one can make. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands.

goldencalfWhen the Psalmist speaks of “Their”, he is speaking about the nations. And these nations had tangible, visible idols. These so-called gods were obviously important to them, because they were made of gold and silver; precious metals for precious gods. But as is often the case with mankind who has not been exposed to the principles and teachings of the Most High God, we get it wrong. Or in this case we get a completely backwards. Note that it says, The work of man’s hands. God is not the work of our hands; we are the work of His hands.

They have mouths, but they cannot speak. The Hebrew word for mouth not only refers to the physical mouth, but also the things that come out of the mouth including commands. The Hebrew word for speak is most translated as speak. But it also can be translated as promise or command; and yet this mouth can do none of those things—it cannot speak. No promises, no commands—nothing.

… they cannot make a sound with their throat. The Hebrew word for make a sound primarily means to meditate, ponder, and devise. It also means to make an utterance or a moan or growl.

So, these idols have mouths, but they cannot speak, command or promise. They have a throat, but they cannot make a sound, or meditate, ponder or devise. Why is that? Well, the answer is obvious. Idols do not have life. In fact we see the truth in that statement from the very first verse that enumerates the idols characteristics: The work of man’s hands.

Now the work of man’s hands can do many things: it can inspire, enrage, cause joy and sorrow, lift up and tear down, instruct and belittle. The work of man’s hands can do many things to enhance or detract from life, but it cannot give life. Nor is it something to worship.

Do the Nations miss the irony here? They devote all this time, taking up much of their lives and creativity for building something that is dead. Then don’t forget all the acts of worship; the pedagogy of that particular god; the accompanying temples, rules and observances; the personnel, such as priests and priestesses, prostitutes and whatnot; the maintenance team and the artists. And let’s not forget the spiritual enforcement team—a.k.a. the military. They have to encourage veneration, worship, giving, and sacrifice. The care and feeding of a false god, takes a lot of time, not to mention the construction, coercion, and deception. And it takes a lot of energy to maintain the lie.

BullIdols are pretty much no longer silver and gold, but they still are that which are either made by man’s hands or by his imagination. Idols are things which you pursue, instead of One True God. But, we are told: Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. (Colossians 3:23) To do otherwise is a dangerous pursuit. More about that next week.

Singing with the King (31) – River Song

Let the sea roar and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy. (Psalm 98:7-8)

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What Kind of River Are You?

The word river is also translated a few times as flood; but there is an interesting thing found in its root word and is not only translated as stream, but also shine, beam, and radiant. Think about when Scripture intersects with river, light and life.

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; and You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light. (Psalm 36:7-9)

Do you know how a river moves—especially a rushing river? Waves and spray are tossed up and sparkle in the light. This is the sort of river which would clap it’s hands. It is not a lazy river, but a turbulent river.

What kind of River are you? Do you clap for joy that people may hear the you love Jesus? Do you let His light shine on and through you maybe even sparkle the people may see you love Jesus? Or do you allow them a cooling touch or a cooling drink to bring comfort and healing in Jesus name?

That’s what hands do; they clap for joy to the Lord, and they bring healing and comfort. What other ways can you use your hands for the Lord and His People?

Singing with the King (8) – Be Still 1.2

Cease striving and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)

Abide

Other definitions for cease striving or be still are to sink down, relax, and let down, like sinking down into one of those old-fashioned over-stuffed chairs. Place yourself into the bosom of the Father, and wrap yourself up in His cloak. There you will find comfort; there you will know the intimacy, and the love of our Heavenly Father.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’…He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge. (Psalm 90:1-2)

Are you bringing something to do with your hands or all they full of stuff? Be still also means to let go, to go limp, and lay down the stuff, so you can hold on to your Heavenly Father.

“So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. (Isaiah 1:15-16)

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. you. (James 4:8-10)

Be still also means enfeebled and frail. You are incapable of lifting your hands for rescue—or for worship. When we are too weak to do anything, He shows Himself to be strong.

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

May you be still before Him today.