THE UNSEEN HAND OF GOD

PASTOR T. O. BANSO

“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him’” (John 9:1-3 NKJV).

Many times, the hand of God is at work in our lives, but it is not evident to us. There are things that happen to us in life that we take credit for when they’re good, and others we blame ourselves, others, or the devil for if they’re not good.

In the passage above, Jesus didn’t blame the child born blind or his parents for his negative condition, as his disciples had already concluded. Jesus said God had a hand in it – that the works of God may be glorified.

The hand of God is working in our lives even when it’s not too manifest to us. The unseen hand of God works through some of our decisions; through some events that happen in our lives; through some directions, we choose to follow, etc. We may not factor God into these things, but underneath, God is at work. “The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you” (Deuteronomy 33:27a New Living Translation).

Moses and the unseen hand of God

Look at this passage of the scripture: “Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.’ So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.’ Moreover He said, ‘I am the God of your father — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God” (Exodus 3:1-6 NKJV).

From this scripture, you can see that Moses had no intention of meeting with God; he was only leading the flock of Jethro and came to Horeb or Sinai. But there was God’s unseen hand in his leading the flock to the backside of the desert until he came to the Mountain of God where he entered into a new phase of his life. There, God sent him back to Egypt to deliver the children of Israel from over 400 years of slavery.

Moses thought he was leading the sheep, but he didn’t know that God was actually leading him! Moses wasn’t prepared at all for that encounter that changed the direction of his life and assignment. You may just be about to start a journey that would change your life for the better. There may not be any grand preparation, but God can encounter you as He encountered Moses. It will happen for you by the unseen hand of God in Jesus’ name.

Saul and the unseen hand of God

In 1 Samuel 9, Saul thought he was looking for his father’s lost ass. He didn’t know the Lord was leading him into a life-changing appointment with Samuel. He returned from that trip as an anointed king, the first king of Israel. Before he ever came to see Samuel to enquire of the lost ass, the Lord had told Samuel about him and what to do when he came. The unseen hand of God was at work. “Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear the day before Saul came, saying, ‘Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him commander over My people Israel, that he may save My people from the hand of the Philistines; for I have looked upon My people, because their cry has come to Me’” (1 Samuel 9:15-16 NKJV).

It is very clear from the Bible account that Saul had no intention of meeting Samuel to ask about the lost ass; it was the idea of his servant. He didn’t even have money to give the prophet of God; it was his servant that volunteered some money. “And he said to him, ‘Look now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honorable man; all that he says surely comes to pass. So let us go there; perhaps he can show us the way that we should go.’ Then Saul said to his servant, ‘But look, if we go, what shall we bring the man? For the bread in our vessels is all gone, and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?’ And the servant answered Saul again and said, ‘Look, I have here at hand one-fourth of a shekel of silver. I will give that to the man of God, to tell us our way.’ (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he spoke thus: ‘Come, let us go to the seer’; for he who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.). Then Saul said to his servant, ‘Well said; come, let us go.’ So they went to the city where the man of God was” (verses 6-10 NKJV). Did you see that? One day Saul met Samuel and his life changed. Your one day will come in Jesus’ name. You will meet your ‘Samuel’ and your life will change.

Saul wasn’t looking forward to what he got on that journey. If you asked him, he would tell you he was looking for his father’s missing ass. In fact, when he met Samuel, he didn’t recognize him. It is possible that he had never met Samuel before then, and Saul never knew him until God told him. “So when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, ‘There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall reign over My people.’ Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, ‘Please tell me, where is the seer’s house?’ Samuel answered Saul and said, ‘I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and tomorrow I will let you go and will tell you all that is in your heart. But as for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not be anxious about them, for they have been found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on you and on all your father’s house?’” (1 Samuel 9:17-20 NKJV). God’s unseen hand will change your story this season in Jesus’ name.

David and the unseen hand of God

In 1 Samuel 17, David thought he was running errands for his father to give food to his brothers at the army camp. He never knew God was leading him to face a destiny assignment that would promote him from obscurity to national and, indeed, global prominence. “Then Jesse said to his son David, ‘Take now for your brothers an ephah of this dried grain and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp. And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them.’  Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the camp as the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle” (1 Samuel 17:17-20 NKJV).

Did you see that? One day Jesse sent David on a destiny errand. You may never know when your own one day would come – one day that would change the story of your life forever, one day that the much-awaited promotion, employment, marriage partner, etc. would become a reality. This shall be that season in Jesus’ name.

For David, the outcome of that one-day errand was that he killed Goliath, and his fame spread abroad. The women even produced an album to sing his praises!  “Now it had happened as they were coming home, when David was returning from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women had come out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. So the women sang as they danced, and said: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands’” (1 Samuel 18:6-9 NKJV). I pray that because of the unseen hand of God working in your life, men and women will soon celebrate you in Jesus’ name.

Esther and the unseen hand of God        

In the book of Esther, the name of God is not mentioned even once, but we see His unseen hand in the events in that book. How else could a poor orphan have become a queen in a strange land through a competitive process? Not only did Esther’s turn come to go to the king like other prospective queens, but her turn ended the competition! The king and everyone were pleased with her. “Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her. So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti” (Esther 2:15-17 NKJV).

Why did Hegai give Esther the advice he gave her on how to appear before the king? Why did he give her preferential treatment? See what favour did for Esther by the unseen hand of God: “Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women” (verse 9 NKJV).

Why didn’t he extend the same favour to the other ladies? On top of that, when it was Esther’s turn, the Bible says Esther didn’t ask for anything except what Hegai had advised her. Why did Hegai not advise the other contestants? Esther became a queen in place of Vashti through the unseen hand of God working through the most unexpected person, Hegai, who, apparently, knew what the king liked and what everyone would admire, and advised Esther in that regard. Everything was orchestrated by God.

I pray that the unseen hand of God will link you with the man or woman who will show you uncommon favour in Jesus’ name. He or she is not supposed to do it but will do it all the same. It is the unseen hand of God at work. This hand will work in your case in Jesus’ name.

Haman’s plot and the unseen hand of God

How else except by the unseen hand of God could the plot of that wicked man, Haman, against Mordecai and the Jews have been quashed?  Both his planned hanging of Mordecai and the genocide against the Jews failed by reason of God’s intervention and Haman was hanged in the tower he had prepared to hang Mordecai. “Now Harbonah, one of the eunuchs, said to the king, ‘Look! The gallows, fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke good on the king’s behalf, is standing at the house of Haman.’ Then the king said, ‘Hang him on it!’ So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s wrath subsided” (Esther 7:9-10 NKJV). And Esther 9:25 says, “But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letter that this wicked plot which Haman had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows” (NKJV).

By the unseen hand of God, every evil plot against you will backfire in Jesus’ name. Every ‘Haman’ will fall into the traps he has prepared for you. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him” (Proverbs 26:27 NKJV). According to Ecclesiastes 10:8, “He who digs a pit will fall into it, and whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent” (NKJV).

King Xerxes, remotely controlled by the unseen hand of God, signed a counter decree that empowered the Jews to attack their enemies who had wanted to carry out the first decree the king signed under the sinister influence of Haman. The Jews, therefore, defended themselves. The Bible says, “Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, the time came for the king’s command and his decree to be executed. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them. The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people” (Esther 9:1-2 NKJV). Verse 16 says, “The remainder of the Jews in the king’s provinces gathered together and protected their lives, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their enemies; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder” (NKJV). What a slaughter of the enemy! What an anti-climax! In Jesus’ name, you will not die for your enemies to live; you won’t fall for them to rise; you will not fail for them to succeed; you won’t lose for them to win.

Naomi and the unseen hand of God

In the book of Ruth, it looked as if the future was gloomy for Naomi and Ruth, but God’s hand was at work to turn their hopelessness to a happy ending. In the midst of the seeming hopelessness, the Bible says of Ruth that she happened to be gleaning in the field belonging to Boaz which set her up for a chance meeting with Boaz. Boaz happened to be a kinsman redeemer, who happened to be a wealthy man, who happened to marry her and through whom Ruth happened to be pregnant and gave birth to a child called Obed who happened to be the father of Jesse who is the father of David from whose line the Messiah was born. I have used the word “happened” deliberately after the first one actually used by the Bible but none of the chain of events happened by chance. It might have appeared like that on the surface, but everything was planned and orchestrated by God.

Ruth 2:3 says Ruth “happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech” (NKJV). But the truth is that it was God that led Ruth; she only didn’t know. God brought her there and also brought Boaz there at the time she was there so that both of them would meet. There is a ‘Boaz’ that you must meet for your story to change. You will meet him or her in Jesus’ name. The Lord will bring you and your Boaz to the place you’ll meet in Jesus’ name.

The same God that brought Moses to the Mount of Horeb, brought Saul to Samuel while searching for the lost ass. The same God brought David to the army camp to see and kill Goliath while he brought food to his brothers; He also brought Ruth to Boaz’s field to glean but really to get a husband! This season, the unseen hand of God will bring you to the place you’ll meet your wife or husband in Jesus’ name. His unseen hand will bring you to where the miracle you’re not expecting will be delivered to you. It will happen in your life in Jesus’ name.

Samson and the unseen hand of God

In Judges 14, Samson’s parents did not know it was the Lord moving him to desire marrying a Philistine – there was a divine purpose for that. “Now Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. So he went up and told his father and mother, saying, ‘I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.’ Then his father and mother said to him, ‘Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?’ And Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me, for she pleases me well.’ But his father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord — that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines. For at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel” (Judges 14:1-4 NKJV). But Samson’s desire at this time was different from his lust later for a prostitute in the Philistine town of Gaza, whom she spent the night with (Judges 16:1 NLT).  God’s hand was not in that.

Neither was God’s hand in Samson’s lust for the woman in the valley of Sorek, Delilah, which eventually led to his capture by the Philistines and his eventual death (Judges 16:4-30). God didn’t lead Samson to Delilah. You won’t fall into the trap of the devil in Jesus’ name. Your enemies will not capture you. Your legs won’t take you to where the hand of God is not leading you.

Paul and the unseen hand of God

The unseen hand of God delivered the early church from that dreaded persecutor, Saul of Tarsus. God knew about that trip by Saul to Damascus; He allowed it. Saul thought he was going to Damascus to persecute the saints, but God had a different purpose for that trip – his conversion (Acts 9:1-9). He sent a certain disciple, Ananias, to him later to minister to him. The unseen hand of God!

Many times, the unseen hand of God preserved the lives of Paul and the other disciples. For instance, in Acts 23:12-24, why was it that the son of Paul’s Sister was around to hear of the conspiracy to kill Paul and was able to inform Paul? Do you call that coincidence? No, it was the unseen hand of God. “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous” (Anonymous).

The young man didn’t go there purposely to find out their plot; it was the unseen hand of God that brought him there for a reason he didn’t know. Those who made the plot thought it was a done deal. They never knew the plot had leaked. Their plot was therefore foiled, and the life of Paul was saved.

See also how God preserved him in Acts 18, through the judgment of Gallio, the deputy of Achaia. “When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat, saying, ‘This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.’ And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, ‘If it were a matter of wrongdoing or wicked crimes, O Jews, there would be reason why I should bear with you. But if it is a question of words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves; for I do not want to be a judge of such matters.’ And he drove them from the judgment seat. Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. But Gallio took no notice of these things” (Acts 18:12-17 NJKV).

The angry mob beat Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue in the courtroom following the refusal of the governor of Achaia to consider their accusation against Paul. They visited their anger and frustration on Sosthenes and, interestingly, Gallio paid no attention. Sosthenes was part of the plot against Paul. But the name Sosthenes appeared later in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. It is not clear if Paul was referring to the same person. “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother” (1 Corinthians 1:1 NKJV). If this verse refers to the same person, it would then mean that he became a Christian sometime later.

The Jews never expected the deputy would be against them. The unseen hand of God put him there as the governor of Achaia at this time (verse 12). Why was Gallio the governor at that time? Why not another person who would be biased against Paul? God knew already what these people would do and put Gallio there. That confirmed what God had told Paul earlier in Acts 18:9-10:  “Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city” (NKJV).

In Acts 19, we see how God preserved Paul’s life in Ephesus during the riot through the intervention of the chiefs of Asia (public officials and dignitaries of the province), who were Paul’s friends, and the town’s clerk. See verses 30-31: “And when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him. Then some of the officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent to him pleading that he would not venture into the theater” (NKJV). Maybe Paul would have risked his life to enter the amphitheater if the officials who were his friends had not cautioned him against that. And who knows what would have happened? God’s hand planted them there.

And in verses 35-41, the clerk of the town or mayor nailed them with his address. The mayor warned the protesters against doing anything rash. He counseled them that if Demetrius and the craftsmen had a case against Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, who had been dragged into the amphitheatre, the courts were in session. He told them that if formal charges were brought against them, the officials could hear the case at once. Therefore, he dismissed them, and they dispersed.

There is no information that Paul’s friends and the mayor were either Jews or Christians, yet they acted in favour of Paul and the cause of the gospel. God can use anyone to achieve His ultimate purpose in your life. That’s why He could use Cyrus, and even called him his anointed or shepherd. “Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be built,’ And to the temple, ‘Your foundation shall be laid’” (Isaiah 44:28 NKJV).

King Amaziah and the unseen hand of God

The unseen hand of God was at work to destroy King Amaziah of Judah for giving the honour due to God to the god of the Edomites whom God had helped him to defeat. He would not even listen to the prophet’s counsel as he did in the past. “Now it was so, after Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up to be his gods, and bowed down before them and burned incense to them. Therefore the anger of the Lord was aroused against Amaziah, and He sent him a prophet who said to him, ‘Why have you sought the gods of the people, which could not rescue their own people from your hand?’ So it was, as he talked with him, that the king said to him, ‘Have we made you the king’s counselor? Cease! Why should you be killed?’” (2 Chronicles 25:14-16 NKJV). Please take note of what that prophet said.

If Amaziah could threaten to kill a prophet who was trying to save him from being destroyed, then it was certain God’s hands must be in it! The next step he took was a false step. He consulted with his advisers on going to war with Israel rather than consulting with God’s prophet. He went to that battle because God wanted to bring him down for promoting idolatry. All attempts by the king of Israel to discourage him failed. “But Amaziah would not heed, for it came from God, that He might give them into the hand of their enemies, because they sought the gods of Edom” (2 Chronicles 25:20 NKJV). Amaziah was roundly defeated and humiliated by the king of Israel. The unseen hand of God will cause all your unrepentant enemies to remain adamant like Amaziah or stubborn like Pharaoh so that they may suffer a colossal loss or defeat they won’t recover from.

Could this be God?

Do you know the unseen hand of God may even be in some problems you are battling with in your life? You think it is the devil but no, it is the Lord. It is not that God caused the problem, but He may have allowed it for a reason, though you’re not enjoying it. You’re concerned about your comfort, but God is concerned about His ultimate purpose in your life. Therefore, He can allow some pain in your life not to destroy you, but to achieve His ultimate purpose.

Let me show you how this worked in the life of the Israelites. “Now these are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel by them, that is, all who had not known any of the wars in Canaan (this was only so that the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war, at least those who had not formerly known it), namely, five lords of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who dwelt in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath. And they were left, that He might test Israel by them, to know whether they would obey the commandments of the Lord, which He had commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses” (Judges 3:1-4 NKJV). God allowed these enemies to remain in order to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands to their ancestors through Moses.

On the surface, it could appear as if it was the devil that did this, but it was the LORD – His unseen hand was at work.

Conclusion: Beloved, the unseen hand of God is at work in your life shaping events, directing you without your knowledge, and also working through negative and positive situations as well as friends and enemies. Even what the devil intends to use to destroy you, God’s hand is supervising it to see that it works ultimately for your good.

Just have faith in God if you don’t seem to understand what is happening. Believe that God has the best plan for your life, and He will cause His ultimate purpose to be fulfilled. The unseen hand of God that worked for Moses, Mordecai, Esther, Ruth, Naomi, Saul, David, and others will work in your favour. With God, you’re in a safe hand. If you have faith in Him and obey Him, God’s unseen hand won’t work against you as it worked against Pharaoh, Amaziah, and some other people in the Bible. God’s unseen hand will not strike you in Jesus’ name (Job 19:21). You’ll know the gracious hand of God.

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

 Tdsc_0581. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947
Email: cedarministryintl@yahoo.com,
cedarministryng@gmail.com
Website: www.cedarministry.org