God’s Open Hand

“The Lord helps the fallen 
and lifts those bent beneath their loads. 
The eyes of all look to You in hope; 
You give them their food as they need it. 
When You open Your hand, 
You satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭145:14-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There was a time when God literally opened His hand to feed the Israelite nation as they floundered in the wilderness between Egypt and their Promised Land. A food they called “Manna” was found on the ground every morning; it contained all they needed for life and satisfied their physical needs for an unbelievable 40 years. There were times when they grumbled about its sameness, even yearning on occasion to return to Egypt where there were leeks and garlic, but nevertheless God fed them. And before we try and take the moral high ground and say how we would have been much more grateful, imagine all we had to eat was porridge. Every day. For 40 years. Hmmm…

Today we are presented with a bewildering array of different foods. Supermarket shelves bulge with fare of all kinds. During the pandemic, there have been hints of the fragility of the food supply, with empty shelves driving headlines at times. Sadly, we too easily take for granted the availability of food, forgetting that our provision is all through God’s grace.

The verses before us today paint a picture of our total dependability on our loving, Heavenly, Creator God. Firstly, we read that He sustains us, even in times of adversity, when life is hard, when we are crushed under loads to heavy for us to bear on our own. And when we look to God, in hope that He will come through for us, we find that He satisfies us with all that we need for life. He satisfies our hunger and thirst. Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, and there, embedded in what we have come to call the Lord’s Prayer, we find, “Give us today our daily bread.” Another translation reads, “Give us today the food we need”. Jesus thought it important enough to include the petition for food in His prayer guidance. 

We must have a continual attitude of gratitude for God’s provision. Our very existence is in His hands, and when He opens them we benefit. Before His throne of grace today we’re thankful. Deeply thankful. David, the Psalmist, finishes his Psalm with these words, “I will praise the Lord, and may everyone on earth bless His holy name forever and ever.”‭‭ That is the only thing we can do; God has done so much for us.


The Lord is merciful and compassionate, 
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 
The Lord is good to everyone. 
He showers compassion on all His creation.
‭Psalms‬ ‭145:8-9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Why is God ultimately so merciful and compassionate? We look around us at our world and wonder why He doesn’t remove all evil and, in particular, evil people. After all they get in His way. They frustrate His will and purposes. But as we muse about how wonderful it would be if God removed the wicked, we get a light bulb moment – He would remove us as well. As Paul said in Romans 3:23, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” So it’s just as well God is merciful and compassionate. He gives us time. Time to repent of our sins. Time to align our lives to His. Thankfully He is “slow to get angry” with us. 

But that is not to say that God’s mercy will always be there. There will come a time when He can be merciful and compassionate no longer. There is a time of judgement coming. You see, our loving Heavenly Father is also a righteous Heavenly Father. He can tolerate nothing that is evil, and when we pass the Great Divide into a new life, anything that is evil will not be allowed in His presence. And so God has created a place apart from Him where evil will be allowed and confined. We can be assured that all the injustices, all the evil, all the wickedness, all the crime, all the bad things we experience in this life – none of it is going unnoticed by God. It is all being noted down in Heavenly life-logs. And one day God will open the data vaults and will publicly replay the videos before casting judgement. Thankfully there is a remedy for us – read on!

Today, in this life, we enjoy being showered with compassion. All of us, good or bad, live in a time of incredible blessing, a time of God’s patience and goodness, a time of God’s grace. As we take our faltering steps along the roads of life, His compassion helps us. His goodness is with us. His love is unfailing. His grace without limit. But God is not a passive parent. His mercy and compassion is active. He sent His Son, Jesus, to show us the way to a right relationship with Him. When Jesus takes on all our sins, we take on Jesus’ righteousness. If that isn’t the ultimate demonstration of compassion, of love, then I don’t know what is. And covered in Jesus’ righteousness, we today receive a “not-guilty’ verdict from the Righteous Judge. The Lord is surely good to everyone. Even me.