As he stood in the black, heavy, humid air amid the croaking frogs, his eyes not yet used to the dark, he put his left hand down, knowing full well that Chloe’s head would find it whether he could see her or not. It did, and he scratched her between the ears and told her what a good dog she was to help with the hunt.
The Bible mentions God’s hand being held out as well. Jeremiah speaks of God creating the earth with great power and an outstretched arm, 27:5. Moses tells the Israelites that same mighty hand and outstretched arm brought them out of Egyptian bondage, and thus they should obey His commandments, Deut 5:15ff. Later in their history Ezekiel warns them that, since they disobeyed, His hand would be held out with wrath poured out, 20:33,34.
That is not the way God wants to hold out His hand. We have all seen animals or children cringe when a hand was held up. It speaks volumes about the kind of treatment they are used to receiving. But God has held His hand out in fellowship from the beginning. We are the ones who ignore it or push it away.
In chapter 11, Hosea tells of God teaching Israel, his son, to walk, and I cannot help but picture a father standing just a step away with his arms outstretched, urging his small child to take that first trusting step into his arms. That is the hand God wants to hold out to us.
The question is do we naturally gravitate to the one who loves us, or do we simply ignore the pleading hand and go about our foolish ways? Chloe is always looking for her master’s hand, even in the dark. How about you?
Fear thou not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you; yea, I will help you; yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.
With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm; For his lovingkindness endures for ever, Isa 41:10; Psa 136:12.