The God Who Has Two Arms!
Isaiah 40:10-11, “Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”
Based on the text, we see that God has a “ruling arm’ and a “carrying arm”. In this article we will consider the ruling arm of God (Omnipotence) and in the next the carrying arm of God (Omnibenevolence).
We must understand that when the Scriptures speak of the arms of God, it is using anthropomorphic language. This long word simply means using human words to express the inexpressible truth of the God who as to His essential essence is Spirit. In other words, God has no arms or legs or eyes, or any other body parts, but these human body parts represent power, mobility, omniscience, etc.
One of the major reasons so many Christians are living in fear today is due to forgetting that the arm of the Lord has not been shortened that it cannot save, protect, heal, and deliver. As believers we must learn to start in every situation and circumstance with God and not the problem; with the fact of God and not our feelings; with ultimate reality and not obvious difficulty. If we see a big God who is both large and in charge; a God who has a ruling arm and a carrying arm; a Sovereign’s hand and a Shepherd’s heart, then there are no big problems. If we start with the problem and try and reason back to God, “Where is He? Why did or didn’t He do this or that”? then God will become our problem.
Power is synonymous with God. To speak of God is to speak of power. To speak of power is to speak of God. God is omnipotent!
Puritan Thomas Watson put it like this: “Take away a King’s power and we un-king him. Take away God’s power and we un-God him.”
“Hallelujah! For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth” (Rev. 19:6). God’s sovereignty and his omnipotence must go together: God cannot be omnipotent unless He is sovereign, He can’t be all-powerful unless He is in all control – they go together, they cannot exist alone.
John Piper gives three great truths concerning the omnipotence of God:
“First, the omnipotence of God implies that he cannot be stopped from doing what he purposes to do. Daniel 4:35 says, “The Most High does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand.” If God purposes with all his heart to do a thing it simply cannot be stopped by any power in the universe.
“Second, the omnipotence of God implies that he does whatever he pleases. Psalm 115:3, says “Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases.” In Isaiah 46:9-10 God says, “I am God and there is none like me … saying ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’” GOD ALMIGHTY is not like us. He can do whatever he pleases. Ultimately the only thing that determines what God will accomplish and what he won’t is his own will. This is what it means to be almighty or omnipotent.
“Third, the omnipotence of God implies that his power is superior to all other powers.”
Omnipotence means that God has the power to do all he wills, as He wills, with whomever or whatever He wills!
He has both the resources and the ability to work his will in every circumstance, in every person, and in every place in the universe. In three words, omnipotence means, “God is able.” He is able to do everything he needs to do or wants to do.
Here’s the premise of Isaiah 40: “What you behold you become like. What you ever-longingly look at, ever-lovingly long for, you will ever-lastingly become like!” Thus, if you view God as One who forgets your address, is impotent to solve your problems, who is either too big or too busy to care for little old you, or a God who would change things if he could or could change them if he would, then you will live in despair, depression, and defeat.
Two times the same question is posited to jolt us out of our wrong thinking about God: Isaiah 40:18, 25: “To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.”
Behold your God (Isaiah 40:9)! Gaze upon Him from the Word of God with the eyes of faith and see that the God of the Bible - our God - is the God who is able, all-powerful, almighty, irresistible, invincible, unconquerable, over-powering, and over-whelming. He is the God who is Great and Good; Large and in Charge! He has an all-powerful ruling arm and all-good, tender, and loving, carrying arm. Hallelujah!
The omnipotence of God has much bearing on the life of faith. How?
First, there is the assurance that nothing is beyond the power and control of Almighty God. If it is a fact that “in God we trust,” then we need have no fear of anything else, for he “who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress’” (Ps. 91:1-2). For the believer God is a shield and an impregnable fortress that no other power in heaven or on earth can begin to overcome.
Second, no matter how weary or distraught we may become, God’s vast power is always available to those who look to Him. In the striking words of Isaiah, “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength . . . they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength . . . they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29, 31). When we look to the Lord, what vast power is available to us!
Third, since believers have experienced the mighty power of God in the new birth, formerly “dead through our trespasses” but now “made . . . alive together with Christ” (Eph. 2:5), we can with great anticipation look daily to God for victory over the remnants of sin and the flesh in our life.
Fourth, the most extraordinary fact about believers is that Almighty God has taken up residence within them.Hence there is latent power impossible to fully comprehend or measure. Paul declares that “by the power at work within us (God is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). The Christian (God help us to realize it!) is a dynamo of divine possibility.
Fifth, we can expect God to be powerfully at work not only in the ordinary events of daily life but also in the performing of mighty works. By the gift of His Holy Spirit to those who believe and receive it, there is entrance into the whole sphere of the mighty works of God. “Power from on high” (Luke 24:49) is available to every Christian: the power of Almighty God to bring people to salvation, to perform miracles of healing and deliverance, to destroy every force that comes against the work of God.
We may fittingly close this section on God’s omnipotence with the memorable prayer of David: “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all”
(1 Chronicles 29:11).
We obtain fresh strength for each new length, attain new heights in lofty flights, maintain the pace throughout the race, sustain the load along the road!
“O Lord, bare Your arm and show yourself strong on behalf of Your people!”