There are well over a hundred Bible verses that speak of God’s right hand. It is used as a metaphor for His intervention and protection of His people in different situations on their journey with Him. The right hand of God is the place of salvation, refuge, and blessing. It is a favoured position. When He takes hold of your right hand it means He is on your side, watching over you. It is also an expression of strength, freedom and intimacy. In that place I am as safe as a child held by its father and I cannot be afraid.
In our text for today the psalmist has concluded that wherever he goes he can never escape from this omniscient, omnipresent God. He’s appreciative of one who is so great, who knows everything and is everywhere; one who will constantly guide him and hold him fast with His right hand. God speaks tenderly to him.
God’s heart is full of grace and compassion but, like the psalmist, there are times when our experience can seem to contradict this unchanging truth. The psalmist was confused. His circumstances were exceedingly difficult. As he observed those around him who didn’t even know God living prosperous lives, his heart was grieved, and his spirit embittered, until the truth about God touched his heart and he spoke it out. ‘I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand’ (Psalm 73:23). Though his circumstances didn’t change, his heart attitude was changed, and the truth of God’s character became reality.
Sometimes God’s right hand is spoken of as an antidote to fear. ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand’ (Isaiah 41:10). ‘For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear, I will help you’ (Isaiah 41:13). Can you hear the still small voice speaking to you today? He says, “My right hand is a hand of friendship. It is also a hand of peace. It is a gentle hand, reaching out to you; you need not be afraid for I am with you, nearer than the dearest friend.” The picture is not of me reaching out to God, but of Him reaching out to me, grasping my right hand in His right hand and whispering His peace.
On another occasion the psalmist was desperately crying out to God for help. He concluded that God had rejected him and had failed in mercy and promise keeping. His faith had been sapped and full of negative thoughts he believed that the right hand of the Most High had failed or changed. As a revelation he recalled the Exodus ‘To this I will appeal; the years of the right hand of the Most High’ (Psalm 77:10). His faith was restored to know that the faithful God of the past could never fail him in the present or the future. And He can never fail you, in any circumstances, at any time.
‘When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast. When the tempter would prevail, He will hold me fast. I could never keep my hold through life’s fearful path. For my love is often cold. He must hold me fast.’ (Matt Merker/Getty Music)
Prayer: Dear Father in Heaven, I’m so grateful for the security there is in knowing You. Thank You that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. I am amazed that You know me as I am and continue to love me with unfailing love. In the name of Jesus, I pray, that through Your word, the Holy Spirit will reveal Your heart and character to me in increasing measure so that my life will continually honour You. Amen.