Pastor Barry/ The Gathering Church Under The Sun #9 (Ecclesiastes): Put Your Hand In The Hand To hear this message and others download our free app at The App Store by searching Gathering Connect.
Gene MacLellan (Put Your Hand In The Hand)
Gene MacLellan was a Canadian country, pop and gospel singer-songwriter, guitarist (February 2, 1938— January 19, 1995). His songs “Snowbird” and “Put Your Hand in the Hand” won Grammy Awards in 1971. Ocean was the Canadian gospel rock ( 1971-1975) band that made that song a million-selling 1971 hit single, earning a gold disc in the United States from the Recording Industry Association of America. The single peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and reached No. 4 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. The song was recorded first by Anne Murray and has since been recorded by artists such as Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby, Randy Stonehill, Frankie Laine, Joan Baez, Anita Bryant, Loretta Lynn, The Oak Ridge Boys and others. Gene MacLellan was a shy Christian man who mostly avoided the spotlight for more intimate settings, performing instead at churches, penitentiaries and retirement homes. He performed on gospel broadcasts, and also provided counseling to prison inmates. Gene’s daughter, Catherine MacLellan is also an excellent singer-songwriter. Her latest recorded release is COYOTE(2019). Check it out on Spotify.
“Obey The King” Ecclesiastes 8:1-6, 2 Corinthians 6:1-2, Matthew 11:28-30
I chose MacLellan’s song “Put Your Hand In The Hand” as a springboard for today’s message because “the teacher” expresses how wisdom brightens a persons face and changes ones hard appearance. A good sing-along song certainly does this too, especially if it is a song about the King of kings and the wisdom found in following Him. “Obey the king’s command”, wrote king Solomon… “Put Your Hand In The Hand of the Man from Galilee” wrote MacLellan. Jesus is the King of kings and He is the one we must obey. Christian… ”you took an oath before God” to follow Him. “Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence.”
Could a song with lyrics like this ever hit the top 10 on U.S. Bilboard today? Well, Kanye West’s “Jesus Is King” opened at No. 1 in October 2019… It is good to know that a recognized king of rap knows who the King of kings is. Let us pray that he is not in a hurry to leave the king’s presence to “stand up for a bad cause”. Pray for Kanye, Christians and pray that prayer for one another and you too. “Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm…the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.” The time is now for salvation (2 Corinthians 6:1-2) says God’s word and the procedure of salvation is clearly laid out in the gospel! It has always been here since Christ proclaimed it. It has been expressed in different times through different vehicles but the truth remains the same and is found in “the holy book” (the Bible). Are you weighed down in misery?” Then come to Christ. (Matthew 11:28-30). “Obey the King!” “Put Your Hand In The Hand…”
Fear God Ecclesiastes 8:7-13, James 1:13-15, Revelation 20:11-15, Romans 1:18-2:4
The teacher once again dwells on the fact that no person really has any power. No one knows the future, just as no one can contain the wind or determine where it blows. No one knows when they will die or has the power to change their fate. No one that practices wickedness can deliver themselves from it— they are bound in it like a prisoner of war. A man may rule (lord it over) over others but he cannot control the fact that they may rise up and hurt him one day. In reality… no person has as much power as they may think! Only God is all knowing (omniscient) , all powerful (omnipotent) and all present (omnipresent).
The teacher also “saw the wicked (Verse 10) buried” Those evil ones who fooled others into praising them by looking outwardly righteous — in the end they proved to have no power at all. They were buried! The teacher continued to reflect on such people and why they go from bad to worse. When people get away with wrongful schemes they are enticed to do more. The Apostle James put it this way: “each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:14 A wicked person may get away with many crimes and even live a long time in this unjust world but he is a fool to think that he has the power to get away with it… We can not fool God. He knows and will judge all things (Revelation 20:11-15). He alone is powerful and a wise person will fear Him. In fact, to fear the Lord is the very beginning of wisdom and not the conclusion of it:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10
God’s wrath will be revealed against all people who suppress the truth that He has so graciously revealed in Jesus Christ (Romans 1:18-32). Obey the King! And while we are at it… don’t we dare play God and pass judgment on others (Romans 2:1-4). “His kindness is intended to lead you (and others) to repentance”. “Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently… put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee”.
Enjoy Life! Ecclesiastes 8:14-17, Romans 1:16-17
We see it on the news all the time— good people getting what the wicked deserve and the wicked prospering. “Meaningless”, says the teacher! But “the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure (Ecc. 8:5b).” The time for salvation is now and the procedure is to follow the gospel: “The righteous will live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17). God wants us to enjoy life— ”to eat and drink and be glad”. Stop loosing sleep over the injustice of this world and leave it to God! “The righteous will live by faith.” Look what He has done. Look at what He is doing! Despite all of our efforts to search things out we can never comprehend it. Some, proclaiming to be wise may claim to know it all but they can not. Some, proclaim to have great power and might, but in reality they do not. But “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.” “Obey the King!” Fear God and enjoy life and Put Your Hand In The Hand of the Man who calmed the sea!