Does God have Short Arms?

18 “Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. 

. . .

21 But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ 22 Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?”

23 The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

Numbers 11:18-23

Have you ever considered that we tell God His arms are too short almost every day? If you’re afraid to tithe, you’re telling God His arms are too short. If you have more debt than equity to cover the debt, there’s a good chance you’ve purchased more or bigger than you really need because you thought God has short arms. When we complain about life or spend more time being miserable than finding the good, we tell God His arms just aren’t long enough.

When I feel overwhelmed because time seems scarce, either I’ve run ahead of God and taken on jobs that aren’t mine or I’m looking at my calendar from a human perspective. Either way, it’s a statement about the Creator’s arms.

In the darkest times of life, when illness strikes someone we love, or life has knocked us down more times than we can count, it’s easy to dwell on the negative. In fact, even God knows we’ll do that. He understands. In the verses just before the ones above, God heard Moses’ cry.

14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”

16 The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.

Numbers 11:14-16

Even though Israel’s leader got a bit over dramatic for a moment, Yahweh understood He needed some help. Our Redeemer knows that sometimes it’s not a statement about His arms, sometimes it’s acknowledging we’re human. Like Moses, we give God ideas to fix the problem–hopefully, ours aren’t as rash as Moses’–then we discover the gracious arm of God has an even bigger and better plan to alleviate our burden. Unfortunately, if we let the negative consume us, we’ll miss the relief the Creator sends. Even when it feels like the darkness will overtake us, we have to be on the look out for God’s intervention, otherwise we’ve said, “God, your arm is too short.”

Life can be overwhelming. It became unbearable for the apostle Paul. Yet, he never quit sharing the Good News. He didn’t give up on the hope of eternity. Even when he knew his time on this earth was short, Paul’s faith showed he knew God’s arms were not.

So, no matter how bad it gets today, keep an eye out for the arm of God. Just when you think you can’t go on anymore, His great arm will bring you what you need or rescue you from despair.


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About the author

Lynne feels blessed to know Jesus Christ. He's her Savior and her friend, and because of Christ her life is richer. So her passion has become to help others discover their full potential in Jesus so they can have the best life possible!

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