By Pastor (Mrs) Anthonia Obafaiye –
Brethren The Hand of God can be for a man or be against a man, the hand of God can also be upon a man for good or for bad, the hand of God can save or deliver a man or it can condemn or fight against a man. The Bible makes us to understand from the Book of Psalm 118:16 ‘That the right hand of the Lord exalts, the right hand of the Lord does valiantly (The power of God is superior to all enemies) this is when the hand of God is upon a man and not against him. Yet again the Bible makes us understand that in Hebrews 10:31 that ‘It is fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, this is when the hand of the God is against. Brethren we have countless examples of instances in the Bible where the hand of God was against a fellow or a nation. But my heart-felt prayer for us is that the Hand of God will forever be for us and not against us in Jesus name.
Our main bible passage will be taken from the Book of Matt.15:21-28, Brethren a very interesting story I must say, some versions of the Bible referred to this woman as a Greek woman or the Syrophoenician woman, and this simply means that the woman was not a Jew but a gentile, but even though she was not a Jew, she must have heard about Jesus, The Lord of lords, The King of kings, The Great Deliverer, The Great Healer, The Carrier of eternal joy. She must have heard about the miracles, the healings and the testimonies of people and above all she was able trace the lineage of Jesus because the Bible made us to understand in Matt. 15:22 that she called Jesus ‘O Lord thou son of David, so she knew who she had come to for help (The Help of the helpless). Above all she was on a mission of moving the hand of God, a mission that seemed an impossible task but the Bible says in Luke 1:37 ‘But with God all things are possible. Brethren I would like us to concentrate on the key things this woman did that moved the hand of God for good for her on this particular day and I want to believe if we do these key things we can also move the hand of God for us as touching every area of our lives in Jesus name. The Bible says in Isaiah 42:21 ‘Present your case, says the Lord, bring forward your strong arguments. In order words God is saying can you prove I have done this before, if you are able to and you want to move My hand, then you can if you believe.
Unwavering & Unshakable Faith
Faith that believes in God and that He can do all things. Heb. 11:6. We remember the Lord said to her in Matt. 15:28 ‘O woman great is thy faith. She left home believing that by the time she came from visiting and meeting with the Great Physician her daughter was going to made whole and that is the miracle she received.
Do not keep silent
Brethren we must not be silent about our predicament, the Bible says in Matt.15:22 that the woman cried unto Jesus saying ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord thou son of David’. The Bible says Jesus is the very present help in time of need. In the book of Mk.10:46-50 when Blind Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing by he lifted is voice and cried out to the Lord for mercy until he drew the attention of Jesus to his predicament and he received his sight. Brethren it does not pay to keep silent when we are supposed to cry for help and mercy. You do not need to cry to everybody but cry to the one who will help you. The Shunammite woman kept on saying it is well until she got to the feet of Elisha the Prophet of God. If you want to move the hand of God then you must lift your voice and cry for help and mercy.
Worship: Brethren we must not under estimate the power of worship and praise, if prayer does not seem to work, why don’t you switch to praise and worship, Brethren we can sometimes pray amiss but we can not praise amiss. God will not turn his back to true worship and praise, He is the Holy One of Israeli and He inhabits in the praise of his people. The Creator can not praise Himself that is why he created us for his pleasure. The bible says in Matt. 15:24 that Jesus’ answer to the woman’s cry of mercy was ‘ I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israeli (the Jews) but the Bible records that this woman bowed and worshipped Jesus saying Lord help me. She was just saying to him you are The Greatest, The Most Powerful, no one can be compared to you, I was told you are good in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening, I was told that at no time do you cast out anyone that cries out to you for mercy, I have searched through eternity and I have found no God like you, I have no where else to go Lord, please help me Lord, she was not put off by what Jesus said.
Humility: The Bible stated in Matt.15: 26 that this woman was called a dog (But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dog’s) but she humbled herself and said yes Lord I accept I am a dog but yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters table. A lot people would have turned back and gone back home at this point.
Brethren the amazing lesson to learn from this story is that the time of the Gentiles had not come, the Lord had already made provision for them in the future but this Gentile woman was able to move the hand of God upon her daughter’s life in a good way even when it was not yet time for her race to start enjoying the mercy and grace of God. With her unwavering faith, her heart of true worship, her cry of mercy to the Lord and her humility she was able to move the hand of God forward into time to receive a blessing that was not yet time to manifest. This is awesome, we too can do same by the grace of God. May the Lord bless us in Jesus name.