The right hand

Eighth in the Ascension Series

When the Lord ascended, Scripture makes clear that he went to sit at the right hand of his Father.

Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (1 Pet 3:22)

Right may rightly be said to denote a direction or location but the right hand means something more, and the right hand of the Father, even more!

The right hand, normally the skilled hand (Ps137:5), is a place of honor, authority, help and strength. (Ps 16:8). The Lord’s right hand is where joy, pleasure (Ps 16:11), protection and power (Ps 17:7; 18:35) are found, and encounters with enemies are ended (Ps 21:8).

Scripture repeats that the Lord will reign at his Father’s right hand until all his enemies are put under his footstool. (Ps 110:1; Mat 22:44; Heb 1:13) From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. (Apostles’ Creed)

In the Bible, we first read about the power of God’s right hand in the song of Moses and Israel in Exodus 15 that celebrated the closing of the Red Sea to protect Israel by drowning their enemies:

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.
The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.
The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.
Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
(Ex 14:1-6)

Though God had worked through the right hand of Moses, he sang what he knew was true— it was not his own hand but God’s that performed the miracles.

And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. (Ex 14:21)

And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. (Ex 14:26)

In Moses we see the preeminence of Christ. He is a type of Christ who goes before us to divide the forces of nature and to lead us through impassable barriers; to sustain and comfort us and to protect us from enemies. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? (Ps 73:25)

David sang:

I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
(Ps 16:8-11)

In Psalm 16 we have a prophecy of Christ’s descent to hell and the certainty of the plan of God to save and deliver his son from the terrors of darkness.

The Lord is at David’s right hand and David is at the Lord’s. In this configuration we can envision the hand of man and that of God extended to agree together in a handshake. As well, man reaches for help and the Lord opens his hand to provide, or raises it to stop the enemy, or gives a comforting touch.

Add comment