As the works of His hands, we have the assurance the He will perfect all that concerns us if we surrender as the clay to the potter, acknowledging His will.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. (Psalm 138:8)
What a relief it is to know that God takes everything that concerns us very seriously. Whatever it is, large or small, we can rest in the assurance that He will perfect it. The outcome is not up to us. It’s not dependent on our ability, our capability, or anything else self can produce. We are the works of His hands, and He assumes responsibility for what or who we become if we yield to those perfect hands.
Faith as the works of His hands.
The first issue here is that of faith. The psalmist speaks with absolute assurance – faith – that comes from sure and certain knowledge. That knowledge is born out of the acceptance that we are works of His hands. We are the created, and have been created by the perfect Creator. To understand this, we can look at the creation of the world where we see that God saw that ‘it was good.’ The rock-solid truth here is that a perfect God can only create a perfect creation. Our current imperfections are not evidence of any kind of ‘mistake’ on God’s part. They are the result of the fall. Satan and man messed with God’s perfect creation, and we are the result.
The fall essentially severed the creator-creation relationship. Mankind chose not to acknowledge the sovereignty of God, and this is part of what salvation restores to us. However, because we’re fallen creation in a fallen world, we need to be ‘re-perfected.’ This is something only God can do, but which will only happen when we once again assume our rightful place as the works of God’s hands. When we acknowledge God as creator, we express absolute faith in His ability to perfect His creation. More than that, we have faith in His willingness to do so, but we also acknowledge that we cannot. Our faith is founded on the truth that God’s will is that the works of His hands be perfect and that He will see to it.
God’s mercy for the works of His hands.
This is a particularly beautiful truth, especially when we consider that our imperfection is a result of our own choices. Realistically, the rightful punishment for sin is death. Also, God has every right to judge us according to our choices, actions, thoughts, and speech. When we remember that we are the works of His hands, we realise that He really has no reason to work in us to perfect what we have messed up. In all honesty, He has every right to turn away and simply leave us to our own destruction. But, as His created creatures, we are precious to Him.
This is the only reason that mercy is extended to us. He loves us because He conceived us – had the idea – and then created us. With salvation, God essentially ‘buys back’ that which is His by right of creation. There is a saying to the effect that mercy is ‘not getting what we deserve.’ When a holy God has created something, it’s inconceivable that the thing created should turn on Him and make itself imperfect. Yet that is exactly what mankind has done and continues to do. We have no justification to even expect mercy, but that is exactly what He offers. Not only does He forgive if we confess, repent, and return as the works of His hands, but He also works in us to perfect what we have ‘unperfected.’
What it means to be the works of His hands.
We’ve touched on the matter of mankind as the created work of God. This implies ownership. The creator owns that which He has created. In essence, this means that we have no will or rights of our own. Self is made redundant. It no longer has any rightful place in us. As the works of His hands we have no grounds to question, argue, or even suggest. He’s the boss, and that’s the end of it. Self, of course, will protest this at every opportunity. It will come up with all kinds of suitably ‘spiritual’ claims to reassert its authority. This is an ongoing battle that we will face throughout our lives.
But being the works of His hands has a wonderful truth that powerfully offsets anything self may claim. It means that we have the assurance that He will work in us to perfect us. We don’t have to struggle against our own weaknesses, frailties, and temptations. Our inability and inadequacy is irrelevant. Whether we can or can’t is no longer an issue. The responsibility for perfection is no longer ours. It lies in the hands of the creator, who desires, wills, and works to bring it to pass. It must be because God intends that it be.
God will not forsake the works of His hands.
The beautiful truth is that even when we turned away from Him and refused to acknowledge Him, God remained faithful to the works of His hands. That is the reason for the cross and salvation. He loves His creation so much that He was willing to die to make it possible for Him to perfect us again. Do not forsake the works of Your hands should be our daily prayer, for without His work in us and in our lives, we can accomplish nothing. These words reflect our dependence on Him. They acknowledge Him as the supreme, sovereign creator. This is a prayer of submission and surrender to the perfect will of God, a cry that recognises the mercy of God and how necessary it is to us.
We can have absolute faith in this truth because He has given us the cross as a permanent, powerful, supernatural testimony. God defines Himself as faithful and has proved Himself faithful. We see it in the Bible and in our lives and those of other believers. While we were unfaithful, He remained faithful to the works of His hands. Even with the flood, He did not utterly destroy His creation – including man. But, in order for His faithfulness to work in our lives, we need to acknowledge our imperfection and submit to the potter’s hands. When we are willing to be shaped as He sees fit, we will find Him faithful.
All that concerns the works of His hands.
The final truth is that perfection, for God, includes all that concerns us. It’s not limited in any way but includes all – ourselves, our lives, our relationships, our work, our ministry… The list is endless. God’s attention to the works of His hands is absolute, complete, and perfect. Nothing is left to chance, ignored, overlooked, or half done. All that concerns us is taken care of – exceedingly, abundantly, far more than we could ever ask or imagine. Every detail, whether little or large, has the personal attention of the awesome, sovereign, all-powerful creator of the universe. That’s the evidence of grace – getting what we don’t deserve.
Lord, do not forsake the works of Your hands. Teach us submission, draw us close, and help us to recognise Your mercy and Your perfect work in our lives. Thank You that every detail has Your attention, and that we need not worry about anything that concerns us if we walk in surrender and obedience. We are the clay and You are the potter, and we thank You for the assurance of Your faithfulness given to us in the cross.