shepherding the shepherd
God’s hand connotes something more active than God’s presence. God’s hand “shattered the enemy.” It is also our hiding place. When Moses blessed Israel for the last time he said, “All the holy ones are in your hand” (Deut.33:3). Jesus promised, “no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29).
So, there we stand, right hands raised, as Paul intones, “I charge you to keep this command,” meaning, I think, this commission spelled out in what he’s written to us, with all the privileges and responsibilities appertaining thereto. “I charge you to obey your orders without fault or failure” (REB). And each of us, in one way or another, have responded, “I will.”
Pastors deal in the realm of the eternal all the time. Everlasting life is our gospel stock-in-trade. But it is dreadfully easy, given all the pastoral pressures we face, to neglect the pursuit of our own eternal life—our own holiness, our own earnest desire to find God’s will, in both attitude and deed, and to do it for his glory.