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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Right or the Left Hand?

by Margaret Silvester

All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the king will say to those on His right hand, “Come, you who are blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
Matthew 25:32-34, NIV

The hand you are biased to is your strongest hand, and, for ninety percent of the world’s population, this is their right hand. Perhaps this is why we sometimes hear people say, “He’s my right hand man.” This usually refers to a person who is necessary for a task to be carried out – a trusted and capable helper. The expression, ‘Right hand’, appears well over a hundred times in the Bible, usually with reference to God and our relationship with Him.

When the patriarchs blessed their children and grandchildren, they used their right hand for those who were to receive the greater blessing. This is the case of Isaac, who blessed Jacob, and Jacob, who blessed Ephraim. Being at the right hand of God expresses the blessing of belonging to Him, closeness to Him, safety and security, and, above all, eternal salvation, so we’ll never be separated from Him.

Isaiah was inspired to write ‘I have chosen you and not rejected you. So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand’ (Isaiah 41:9-10). In other words, God was saying He’s the one in authority, the one with power to protect, keep and help. With His right hand upon His people they’re under His authority, and nothing can touch them, outside of His permissive will.

God’s right hand in Scripture is symbolised as the hand of strength. ‘Your right hand, O Lord, was majestic in power. Your right hand O Lord shattered the enemy. In the greatness of your majesty you threw down those who opposed you’ (Exodus 15:6-7). We’re weak, but in His mighty strength we’re strong. We can say, ‘Yet I am always with you; you hold me with your right hand. You guide me with your counsel and afterwards you will take me into glory’ (Psalm 73:23-24). Because God’s strong, we’re safe in Him.

God’s right hand is the hand of sovereignty and judgement. In the book of Revelation we see Jesus using His right hand. We see Him seated on a throne with a scroll in his right hand, the only one who’s worthy to open the scroll, because He’s bought men and women from every tribe and nation with His precious blood. One day all mankind will be gathered before Him and, as our text for today says, there’ll be an eternal separation. Some will be put on his right, because He knows them, and they know Him. Some will be put on his left, because they’ve never truly known or belonged to Him. The fruit of their lives is the evidence for or against them.

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank You for Your greatness, strength, power, sovereignty and blessing. I’m so grateful that You sent Jesus to be Saviour and Lord, and that You’ve left the Holy Spirit in the world until He comes again. Please give me grace to fully surrender my life afresh to You, and to live each day in the light of eternity, so my life will bear fruit for Your kingdom, honour and glory. I pray in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Margaret Silvester had a career as a teacher prior to being called into full time Christian Ministry with her husband, David, in 1986. They were involved in establishing a Healing Ministry in the local church and Margaret has a passion to see lost and wounded people found and restored. She and her husband joined the Ellel Ministries teaching and ministry team in 2000 after a clear call from God. Margaret`s book "Stepping Stones to the Father Heart of God" has recently been published.


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