Thanksgiving Series: God, the Strong Armed One

Hand of God

The Creation of Adam

Psalm 136 can be touted as the “The Psalm of Thanks” or the “Thanksgiving Psalm.” It is a Psalm that is rich in content, apropos the character of God and since each verse in the Psalm is suffixed with “For his mercy endures forever”, it is a Psalm that is easy to read and memorize as well. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, giving thanks for the ultimate reason of sending us his only begotten Son, we will be looking at each verse in Psalm 136 and glean out the character of God from these verses, which would be reason enough to be grateful and give thanks to our LORD God.
Today we look at Verse 12.
With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.

When visiting the Vatican City, we were blessed to see the wondrous work of Italian Renaissance artist, Michelangelo Buonarroti on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Between 1508 and 1512, Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with a series of frescoes, portraying several biblical stories. One central painting which is commonly misnamed as the Hand of God, but which is correctly named The Creation of Adam, depicts God giving life to the first of his creation, Adam (man). In this painting, Michelangelo puts the viewer’s attention on the two outstretched arms – one that is of Adam, limp with drooping fingers as if without any energy, resting upon one bent knee as if it is too heavy for him to hold it up without support, and the other, the assertive strong powerful hand of God himself, reaching out and ready to discharge the vital spark of life.

God does not just have an outstretched arm, but a strong outstretched (reaching) arm.

Points to ponder:
Just as God rescued the Israelites with his outstretched arms from their enemies, he continues to reach out to us today. Like Adam, by ourselves, we cannot hold ourselves up. Without God’s Spirit in our lives, we are languid and limp. When Jesus came into this world, it was God’s strong outstretched arm, reaching out to all of mankind, to give our limp lives, the vital spark of eternal life. We thank God for the outstretched strong Hand of God – yes, his mercy truly endures for ever.

God is reaching out to you! Accept Jesus by acknowledging him to be your Lord and Savior and get life – eternal life – by become a living soul (Genesis 4:7).

Psalm 136:12 (KJV)
12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.