You may have heard the phrase, “God’s hand of protection” or “He is lifting His hand of protection.” It seems that is something God would do, keep a person or nation in the shelter of His hand. It seems logical to think that in His fierce wrath and anger that He would lift His hand. But is it biblical? Yes, it is.
In Lamentations 2, a chapter titled, God’s anger at sin, we read in verse 3: “In fierce anger He has cut off All the strength of Israel; He has drawn back His right hand From before the enemy. (Lam 2:3a). In Psalm 74:11 we read, “Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? From within Your bosom, destroy them!”
In the news these days we read about and see devastating events, each more ‘unusual’, or ‘destructive’ or ‘unprecedented’ than the last. They are happening more frequently too, a major earthquake or flood or eruption each month, and each week. Pakistan is inundated. The flooding disaster has killed an estimated 1,600 people and affected up to 20 million. Disease is rearing its head and famine is on the horizon, all things Jesus said would occur in the last days as signs of His soon coming. (Luke 21:11).
When a devastating event occurs that affects such a large population, a nation, really, one has to wonder, “Is God lifting His hand from Pakistan? From China? From America?” As far as Pakistan goes, it does seem as though God is lifting His hand from them. It’s the home of the Taliban, which Pakistan’s President says the “world is losing the war against.” Pakistan is epicenter to birthing ground if Islamic militant violence, violence that does not even take a respite when floods come. “Taliban guerrillas are taking advantage of the large-scale misery caused by the devastating floods in Pakistan by attempting to enlist 50,000 new fighters — in return for food and medicine.” Violent, Godless, duplicitous, insurgent, Pakistan may indeed be enduring the withdrawn hand of LORD GOD at this moment.
God promises to destroy nations in which the Jews had fled during the Diaspora (Jer. 30:11), He also described the six things He must accomplish as stated in Daniel’s decree (Dan 9:24): “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.”
One of the purposes of the tribulation is “to put an end to sin”, and though we are not in the Tribulation yet, God is withdrawing His hand, because who among us as individuals or as nations have not sinned? Who among us deserves to have God’s hand of protection still sheltering them from their own consequences? None. That He has not taken it away from all nations yet is the miracle. These devastating events are not “accidents” nor are they merely or the ‘natural cycle of things.’ Pakistan is, and soon other countries will be enduring events that are designed to focus our eyes on sin, and cause us to repent.
He is lifting His hand of protection from the nations of the world. No, things will never “get back to normal.” They will only get worse. As the birth pangs inexorably contract, who will be the next nation to endure the consequences of sin, absent His hand of protection? America? “Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.” (Joel 1:14-15).