“Yet 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 (NIV)
Children will often delight to hold the hand of a parent as they walk along. Reaching a certain age, the child does not want to hold the parent’s hand any more. The child feels they have grown up enough that they can navigate the street or the shopping mall just walking beside their mom or dad. They feel they are safe enough on their own.
Then, when the child reaches the upper teen years, they once again have the urge to hold someone’s hand. This time it is the hand of someone with whom they are smitten. Young love yearns for the touch of the loved one and holding hands is a sweet experience.
When we enter a relationship with the Lord, we are happy to reflect on the words of Jesus in John 10:28-29 (NIV)
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;
no one will snatch them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all;
no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”
Here again is the theme of being held in or by the hand. Our Lord spoke these words echoing our verse from the Psalms. Most people are right handed. So when the Lord takes us by the right hand—as our verses state—He is holding onto our dominant hand.
I believe the Psalmist is saying to us that when God takes us by the hand there is the element of submission in the matter. We give up our dominant limb and place our right hand into the sovereign hand of the Lord God Almighty. This, I believe, is the point of using the hand as an image. The person is passing control of their life to the Lord.
Another body image of submission is seen in the passages where the person bows the knee to the Lord. When we stand straight and tall we are indicating equality with the person we see eye to eye. However, humility is pictured in the bowing before another.
We read in Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV)
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.’
Have you come to this place of absolute security and peace by bowing the knee to Jesus and confessing He is Lord? Do you take comfort in this truth that the Lord God Almighty has accepted your confession that He is Lord and that all of the power in heaven and earth is harnessed for your good? Listen again to Isaac Watts:
Should all the hosts of death, And powers of hell unknown,
Put their most dreadful forms Of rage and mischief on,
I shall be safe, for Christ displays Superior power, and guardian grace.