The Good Hand of God

         Both Ezra and Nehemiah used the same phrase when referring to God’s hand.

  • Ezra 7:9 “On the first day of the first month he began his journey from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him” (NKJ).
  • Ezra8:18 (When asking for servants for the house of God) “Then, by the good hand of our God upon us, they brought us a man of understanding… namely Sherebiah…” (NKJ).
  • Nehemiah 2:8 (When requesting timber for the temple building) “And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me” (NKJ).

          The Hebrew word for “good” is “towb” and it means “good” in the same way we would understand it in English. Anything that is beautiful, best, better, bountiful, cheerful, pleasant, precious, prosperous, sweet, wealthy, and/or well-favored would be considered to be good. The Hebrew word for “hand” is “yad” and it refers to the open hand indicating power, means, and direction. Ezra and Nehemiah realized that they were where they were, they had what they had, and were surrounded by those who they needed because of God’s powerful, open-handed provision.

           “The good hand of God” is a phrase we can use when we notice all that God has done—when we count our blessings. The power, means, and direction of God’s good hand both supplies for us and also slaps away that which would attack us. That good hand sometimes reaches out to us with gifts of provision, but it also reaches out to us as a shield of protection, and source of direction. It can hedge us in and harm our enemies at the same time.

         Ezra and Nehemiah were onto something when they spoke of the good hand of God. Let’s remember on a consistent basis all the good hand of God does for us each and every day. 


©2011 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at Also, periodically check in at to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, and from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website.



~ by sanewriter on July 30, 2011.

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