THE SINGULAR HAND OF PLURAL ENEMIES 

That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear. 

Luke 1:74.

  1. Something Strange 

There’s something strange about this verse; something that I never saw until now. Every proper person has two hands, and when we speak of multiple people, we speak also of multiple hands.  However, this verse speaks of the singular “hand” of plural “enemies.”  If that ‘natural error’ were only in this verse, one might have ignored it, but it occurs also in a previous verse, verse 71: “That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us” (Luke 1:74).

“All” means more than one, and that is plural, so is “enemies.”  According to this prophecy, however (for this prayer is called a prophecy in verse 67), “all” the “enemies” have a singular “hand” – one “hand” that holds down all of “us,” many as we are.  That takes me to another concern: can an entire community of goodly priests, according to Zechariah, be under captivity to a single wicked “hand”?

Sometimes, the one “hand” against which we strongly contend could be merely the one visible agency of many invisible “enemies.”  In other words, some of the battles we face transcend the singular “hand” that we see, feel, touch, hear.  To focus on that singular hand could sometimes be a tragic distraction.

  1. The Plural Death of a Single Enemy 

When King Herod wanted to kill the Baby Jesus, the angel of God told Joseph to promptly flee into Egypt with the child and the mother (Matthew 2:13-15). Times later when Herod was dead, the angel returned to tell Joseph to return to the land from which he had fled, “for THEY are dead which sought the young child’s life” (Matthew 2:19-20).

Who had died was one man, Herod; but the obituary that the angel announced was in the plural: “they.”  Heaven saw and announced things differently than earth did. Herod had been merely the singular “hand” of plural “enemies,” the known hand of unknown enemies, the arrowhead of a deathly clan.  It is possible that some of those hidden enemies that ‘died’ with Herod could have been folks disguised as ‘dear friends’ or ‘concerned neighbours,’ who milled about with Joseph and Jesus even in the sanctuary, while they worked behind the scene with the “hand” that everybody saw and called ‘Wicked.’

  1. A Prayer 

May God expose the many “enemies” behind the singular “hand” that holds you down.  May God deliver you from that prison hold.  Whether by withering or weakening the hand, or by slaying the unseen manipulators of the visible hand (whatever or whoever be the ‘hand’), may God do whatever He would to deliver “us.”  Amen.

  1. Realms Beyond Deliverance and the Reason for the Battles 

According to this priestly and prophetic prayer of Zechariah, we need the specific deliverance to be able to “perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant” (v.72), and so that we “might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life” (vv. 74-75).  In other words, though “we” be priests, like Zechariah, there are realms of service that we cannot offer to God until we are delivered from the hand of enemies; there is a limit to how much we can access the Hand of God while the one legal “hand” of many “enemies” still lays claim upon us and our destiny.

That we carry a mandate to serve the Lord does not usually mean that we would fight no battles or have no need for deliverance.  Divine ordination does not prevent from demonic confrontations.  No devil will leave you alone because you have been ordained by God.  Even with Jesus, it was after the Father had endorsed Him as a “beloved Son” and while He was much more “full of the Holy Ghost” that the Tempter came to Him in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-14).  Often, the mandate we carry is the attraction for much of the battles we face.

In spite of the wicked “hand” of our many “enemies,” there is a Stronger Hand, the Right Hand of the Almighty God, that delivers.  To that Hand we now appeal.  O, mighty Hand of our Almighty God, deliver us, in Jesus name.  Amen.

From The Preacher’s diary,
November 21, 2023.

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Mrs Sarah C
Mrs Sarah C
4 months ago

Great article. Keep it up.

Kengemaye Cotterell
Kengemaye Cotterell
4 months ago

So revealing a piece!
The Lord indeed deliver from the hand of our enemies, so that we’ll be all He wants us to be.

Sam Ajuzie
Sam Ajuzie
4 months ago

I say a big Amen to the prayers

Nwando Babalobi
Nwando Babalobi
4 months ago

Deep revelation this is!
The Preacher ! Always stirring in its message and a delight in its style.
May God’s conquering hand always be there for you.

Obi jay
Obi jay
4 months ago

Very insightful. We must learn to look beyond the evident adversaries to the forces behind them! Albeit, may the Lord be praised for His Right Hand that doeth valiantly for us.

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