Work of His Hands

The work of His hands.  cropped-flowers-1.jpg

A comforting idea that is in poems, sermons, and song is that we are “the works of God’s hands.”  Job and David both used this beautiful idea in their writings, but with two different perspectives. We will start with Job.

In Job 10:3 Job is answering one of his tormentors, Bildad, in his third discourse of his book.  Job’s bitterness is evident in this discourse; it is directed at Bildad and God.  (Job 9:33, part of the discourse, is a plea for the work of Jesus as being an arbitrator.)  The end of verse three is still directed at God and says, “While you (God) smile on the schemes of the wicked.(NIV)”  If we look at the original words we find the word “work” with slightly different meanings.  The word work in Job is ygiya it carries the idea of hard toiling/labor.  This fits in with the general tone of how Job is viewing himself and his relationship with God at that moment in his life. It is not pretty and Job is upset.

David uses the phrase in Psalm 138:8.  David uses a different word for work, his is maaseh and it still means work or labor but Vine’s Dictionary says it has to do with farming, artisans working, or the work of praising God.  It has a positive context as compared to ygiya. This fits very well with Psalm 138 and its overall upbeat message.

Even though the general tone of Psalm 138 is positive I can’t help but think it was written at a time when David needed to encourage himself. (ex. After Bathsheba, when he was on the run from Absalom, or when Ziklag was burned.)  It seems he is reminding himself and God of things that he has done and has happened. So the last line of verse eight with the word “abandon” in it puzzled me; it is the reason I think it was written during a time of duress.  It speaks to David’s plea not to be left alone at this time.

“The work of God’s hand.” Two men both referring to themselves as God’s handiwork, but I believe both from a different mindset.