Without His help, we are helpless.
Have you ever tried to move a large, bulky piece of furniture by yourself? Did you eventually realize that you needed a helping hand?
Today we rely on precise measurements. In ancient times, people used commonly understood measurements. The most-widely agreed upon measure was a cubit. A cubit was defined as six handbreadths, approximately equal to the distance from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow. In Ezekiel 43:13, God gives Ezekiel instructions for the rebuilding of the temple. In this verse, Ezekiel is told to use the measure of “a cubit and a handbreadth” rather than the standard cubit. That extra handbreath is the “seventh hand”; it is the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Without the help of the Spirit’s seventh hand, we cannot accomplish anything. Zechariah 4:6 says, “ ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” The seventh hand holds a marriage together; the seventh hand consistently helps a church to bring in new Christians. The six handbreaths matter. God wants man in on the action. We lay the groundwork and do the preparation. The seventh hand accomplishes what we cannot do on our own.
1. How is John 15:5 an example of the seventh hand? What fruit have you experienced from abiding in Christ?
2. In Zechariah 4:6 God sent a message to Zerubbabel. What did this message have to do with the seventh hand? What do you try to accomplish by your might and your power?
3. What is our part in God’s plan?
4. Read Acts 12:1-11. Discuss which parts of this story are the first six handbreadths (human effort and preparation) and which part is the seventh hand.
5. Think of an incident when you saw something that had to be the seventh hand in action. Tell the group what God’s mighty power can do!
Is your group serving? If not, make a plan! As your group prays for a service project to succeed, think about the 6 handbreadths of human effort you must make. Pray for the seventh hand to bless your efforts.
Ask some people outside your group to join you as you plan or review a service project. Talk about what you need God—seventh hand—to do.
We encourage groups to try the Discovery Bible Method as an alternative to these discussion questions. You will find details for this Bible study method here. For this week, please study Acts 12:1-11.
1. The seventh hand blesses and completes whatever you are working on. We must abide in Christ. Knowing that God will bless your project (if your project is part of His mission) should encourage you.
2. God is reminding Zerubabbel that it is the Lord who brings any work to completeness.
3. We are the first six hands; those who prepare whatever needs to be done.
4. Human effort and preparation: In verse 5 the church prays for Peter, in verse 8 Peter prepares to leave by getting his cloak and sandals, in verse 9 Peter follows the angel out of the prison. The seventh hand: the angel of the Lord appeared to Peter, told him what to do, and allowed him to pass the guards and exit the prison unharmed.
5. As an example, when Faith Promise needed to buy property near the UT Arboretum, the Oak Ridge City Council was against re-zoning. During a key council meeting Faith Promise members circled up on the walk in front of the Municipal Building to pray. Council, which included some non-Christians, voted in our favor.