The Unseen Hand of God




The Unseen Hand of God, recorded live at Christ Temple Church, Huntington, West Virginia, begins with a Spirit-filled musical extravaganza: “Until Then,” “When I See the Blood,” and “Is Not This the Land of Beulah?” (Tommy Bates); “Great Is Your Mercy” (Brenda Taylor); and “Jesus Said It” (Mark Ellis and the CTC Praise Team).” Pastor Tommy Bates follows with a dazzling message on the boundless and unfathomable grace of God.

The story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17 serves as an illustration of how God always orchestrates events in ways that we cannot anticipate. During a severe drought, He supplies Elijah’s needs, leading him to a brook and causing ravens to bring him water and flesh, morning and night. Then the brook dries up, not because God has deserted his servant through whom He is working, but because He has a new plan for him. Elijah is sent to Zarephath to meet a certain widow who would care for him. He finds her in dire straits—poor, guilty, hopeless—with a son who seems to be malnourished but actually lies in the grip of a terminal disease. In the midst of this seemingly hopeless situation, God moves through Elijah to bring about a series of miracles. The widow survives and her son is healed because she passes the prophet’s simple tests, fetching him a small cup of water and stretching her meager supply of meal to make him a small corncake. Why does God set her apart from all the other widows in similar circumstances?  Because, Pastor Bates declares, “she is the right one, in the right condition, with the right problem.” And the right response: she hears God’s word through Elijah, obeys it, and is blessed. From the time the brook dries up to the healing of the widow’s son, the unseen hand of God guides each one of the players toward the manifestation of the miracles. This Scriptural account is for us. God is always looking for ways to bless those who hear and obey his Word. His grace knows no limits. His power knows no boundaries. And His unseen hand moves in ways we cannot anticipate or even fully understand.

Has your brook dried up? Do not despair, for God has another plan for you. When we give God nothing, we get nothing. But when we give the little He requires in simple obedience—as the widow did—God returns a lot, “in good measure, pressed down, and shaken together and running over.” You cannot afford to miss this brilliant message.

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