“Give Me A Hand.” — We’ve all heard that phrase. And I would venture to say that everyone uses that phrase at one time or another. “Give me a hand…” has two very common meanings. It can be a request to receive a helping hand (asking someone to provide aid or assistance) or it can be spoken as a request or directive to give a round of applause.
In those two applications, hands have a very distinct use. In the first one, it is a hand of service given to another. In the second, the “hand” is given by clapping the hands to show approval of someone or something.
Do we ever really stop to think about our hands? We see our hands and we use them all the time, but we seldom consider the importance they hold. Our hands “work” from from the time we rise in the morning light until the time we retire in the dark of night. In fact, even in slumber, our hands can still be active in fluffing a pillow, pulling up covers, repositioning the body, etc. Our hand never really rest.
Just like people, hands come in all shapes, sizes, and conditions and they can reveal a great deal about the person whom they “serve.” We see well-manicured hands, rough and calloused hands, soft skinned hands of children as well as wrinkled and age-spotted hands of the elderly. Just as all hands are different, so also does the work of the hands vary greatly.
Hands can used for healing or for hurting, for helping or for harming, for welcoming or for dismissing, for holding or for releasing…the list goes on and on. Hands can be agents of good or evil, because they are controlled by our minds and our wills.
Hands are important in everyday life. So let’s always be conscious of thanking God for the hands He has given us that are attached to our arms AND the “hand” He gives to us when we call on His name.
Give Me a Hand…In the Bible
The Bible never speaks about “give me a hand” as in asking for applause. It does, however, have plenty to say about “give me a hand” as in asking for assistance.
God wants us to ask Him to “give us a ‘hand’ (help).” He wants us to depend on Him and He is always willing to help us in our every need.
We are also to seek a “hand” from brothers and sisters in Christ and likewise, we are to give a “hand” to those in need. Our lives are to be of service to God by ministering to others. As God’s children, we represent His “hands” when we give a hand of service to others.
The Bible tells of the kind of hands that God desires….clean hands. That means unstained with acts of sin. Therefore we should always be quick to confess our sins and receive cleansing from God. This cleansing is not for our salvation (justification). Jesus paid for our sins when He stretched out His hands upon the cross, and it is His blood that washes away our sins in our justification. This cleansing is to wash us in our life’s journey of sanctification, i.e. our Christian walk. While our union with Jesus is always secure, this cleansing restores our communion with Him.
Job proclaimed that “clean hands shall be stronger and stronger” (Job 17:9) and the psalmist tells that the Lord rewards “according to the cleanness of [our] hands” (Psalm 18:20). Again, this is not a reward of salvation, but a reward from the Lord for service done for others in purity of heart (i.e. with the right intentions).
The Old and New Testaments both teach that a quality for holiness in worship is clean hands. This is revealed in the requirements for service in the Temple (recorded in Leviticus) and in the future prophecy of a coming Kingdom (Psalm 24:3-4). In the New Testament, we are told to examine ourselves, and that should cause us to look at our hands. Are they clean? Or are they dirtied by unrepentant sins? Let’s get out the Christian “bar of soap” (1 John 1:9) and be quick to wash our hands (Read, What is the Christian “Bar of Soap?”) Then we’ll have the strength of clean hands to give or to receive.
That brings us back to the other use of “give me a hand.” Lift clean hands upward in praise and give an “enthusiastic hand of applause” to the One who deserves all honor and glory. While Jesus doesn’t say, “give me a hand” (as applause for His work), He does stretch out His hands to the lost and calls them Himself. Only when they “see” His scarred hands and repent and trust in His work on the cross, will they be able to receive the gracious hand of the Lord in saving grace.
All About Jesus’ Hands
Unlike the dirty hands of fallen man, Jesus’ hands were perfectly clean during His life on earth. His hands were always ready to serve the Father in ministering to God’s people. During His incarnation…
Jesus’ hands were touching hands–reaching out to others (more than 200 references of “hand (s),” “fingers,” or “touch” — Matthew 8:3; 8:15; 9:25; 9:29; 14:31; 17:7; 19:13, et. al. ).
Jesus’ hands were healing hands: restoring sight to the blind, healing leprous skin, lifting a soul from life’s dust.
Jesus’ hands were helping hands: always ready and willing to minister to others (Mark 10:45).
Jesus’ hands were welcoming hands– always open to friends and strangers.
Jesus’ hands were confident hands: confidence in the Power of God.
Jesus’ hands were comforting hands: open hands of compassion.
Jesus’ hands were generous hands: giving more than we deserve.
Jesus’ hands were communicating hands — an open hand; a finger of revealing unspoken words.
Jesus’ hands were gentle hands: never harsh, rough, or overzealous.
Jesus’ hands were powerful hands– the clean hands with the strength Job spoke of (Job 17:9)
Jesus’ hands were surrendered hands: always in accordance with the father’s will.
Jesus’ hands were wounded hands–stretched from east to west and pierced for us.
Jesus’ hands were redeeming hands: with pure blood that flowed to pay for sin.
In His incarnation, Jesus’ hands were all those things. And Jesus never changes. We find confidence in knowing that Jesus holds the whole world in His hands! In His glorification, His hands are beautiful hands, that reach down to save sinners. And for those who are His, we are led by, and held by, His sovereign hand (Psalm 139:10, Isaiah 40:12a, John 3:35) and kept safe and secure forevermore by His loving, faithful, almighty hand (John 10:28)
Isa 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
The Best Word to Describe Jesus’ Hands
Jesus’ hands are loving hands. And, in being loving hands, the Lord’s hands are also giving hands. From His being, in His attributes, and through His beautiful hands flows the only perfect, unconditional, fully sacrificial love that we will ever receive.
Isa 62:3 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
Open your hands and receive His love.
Then raise your hands in an offering of praise.
Give Him the hand (applause and praise) that He is worthy to receive.
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