The Good King reigns
Thu Jun 20, 2013
We are a Kanye
Wed Jun 19, 2013
by Odd Thomas
Does the bible contain errors?
Tue Jun 18, 2013
by Megan Almon
Introducing: “Know the Bible” series
Mon Jun 17, 2013
What is Scripture?
Mon Jun 17, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
The Hand of the Devil and the Hand of God
A good illustration of the character of God and the character of Satan is found in a pair of sculptures (seen above) by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. If you go to the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, you’ll see two companion pieces. He shaped two small statues of hands and put them side-by-side in a display. One is called “The Hand of God” and the other is “The Hand of the Devil.”
The Crushing Grip of Satan
Rodin usually depicted only right hands. His exception was “The Hand of the Devil,” in which Satan’s left hand is used to hold and crush humanity. The bony hand is clutching a small female figure who is struggling to escape. Satan’s hand is at work, its fingers moving within a swirling mass of clay. Just as the female figure begins to take shape and arise out of the swirling mass, the hand pushes it back into nothingness. Just as order is emerging, the hand of the devil thwarts it. Chaos is dominant in the sculpture. The female figure is alone, lost, and driven away from order back into the chaos of the clay.
The devil loves to try to confuse us and keep us trapped in chaos. As one scholar wrote, “Since [Satan] was the adversary of God he attempted to subvert the order established by Him, and because he could not drag God from His throne, he assailed man, in whom His image shone.”
The Sure Hand of God
The second hand, a right hand, is rough, strong, and active-looking. Rodin designed a powerful-looking hand that holds an intertwined man and woman, carrying them upward into life from the chaos of the unformed clay. He called this work “The Hand of God.” The hand is not smooth at all. The stone is of rough texture to design a powerful hand that suggests movement away from the chaos of the unformed clay.
Rather than being alone, the figures in the hand of God are together with each other. Instead of being lost, the figures are cradled, suggesting that they have been found. And rather than being driven away into chaos, the figures are being lifted out of chaos. Beneath both hands there is a swirling mass of clay, which symbolizes chaos. The hand of God seems intent on bringing meaning out of randomness, purpose out of chaos.
In making God’s hand rough, Rodin’s message is that while God’s care and desire may seem rough and unsettling—much like an incarnation, cross, and resurrection—his purpose is to carry us into an eternal joy.
The hand of God seems intent on bringing meaning out of randomness, purpose out of chaos.
The hand of God may feel rough, but it is stronger, kinder, and more secure than the devil’s hand. If you have put your trust in Jesus, then you can be secure knowing that nothing and no one can snatch you out of your good Father’s hand (John 10:28-29).
"The Devil Roams the Earth..."
Remember that though Satan is a serious enemy. A.W. Tozer wrote, “The devil is a better theologian than any of us and is a devil still,” and 1 Peter 5:8 reminds us that the devil is an adversary trying to devour us—yet if we are united with Christ through faith, then “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39). God’s hand is a very secure place to be.