My dad has big hands. As a little girl, my hand was swallowed by size of his hand, yet he never crushed me. Even though they were the same hands that gave me an occasional swat when I was disobedient (well, okay, maybe more than occasional), I didn’t fear his hands. I knew without a doubt that my daddy loved me. When he held my hand I felt secure and safe.

Recently I’ve been intrigued by all the times the Bible refers to God’s right hand. The more times I noticed it, the more I wondered about God’s intended symbolism, so I did a little study. And I was not disappointed.

The NIV Archeological Study Bible says: “The hand was symbolic in the ancient world. It was believed that from it one either bestowed grace or pronounced punishment. In addition, the hand represented the authority of an individual, the instrument of carrying out a person’s intentions. The…left hand was universally acknowledged to be the one used for sanitation purposes and, therefore, was less respected than its counterpart. Secondly, since most people were right-handed, the right hand was considered to have innately superior strength and capability.

“Because of its special physical status, the right hand was assigned important metaphorical significance, frequently expressing blessing, fellowship or comfort…it was believed to represent the character, will and actions of the individual taking the vow…the right hand represented God’s ultimate strength and provision for his people.” (“The ‘Right Hand’ in Ancient Thinking”)

Not only does our Father-God rescue and protect us with His mighty right hand, but He holds our hand, to reassure us of His intimate care. These verses are some of my favorites:

I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:8

I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Psalm 73:23-24

 

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:7-10

 

So 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…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 41:10, 13

 

And here’s the best part. If God is holding us by the right hand that means that our dominant hand is unavailable for use. We cannot, in our own strength, take care of ourselves; we must depend on God. Since He holds our right hand in His left, God has His right arm free to wield unlimited strength, power, comfort, salvation, and provision. Our weakness enables His strength to freely express itself on our behalf.

To that I say, “Here’s my hand, Father. I trust you, because I know you love me and will take care of me.”