Summary: A unique approach to the blessing and jugdment of God. Everything God is is on his right - there is NOTHING left to be at his left.
Originally I thought of titling my message “God is Ambidextrous”. I have often characterized the right and left hands of God as the glory and judgment of God, respectively. We’re always hearing in church about the power and the glory – but I wanted to remind everyone today that God has a left hand, too. There is something about him to hope in, and there is something about him that we must fear. So – I was going to title this message “God is Ambidextrous”. But after doing some research into the meaning of the word, and also looking into the scriptures, I had to revise my message.
Traditional meaning of the word – “able to use both hands equally well” from Dictionary.com
1. able to use both hands equally well: an ambidextrous surgeon.
2. unusually skillful; facile: an ambidextrous painter, familiar with all media.
3. double-dealing; deceitful. ?
That last definition got me doing some research… Same idea as “speaking with a forked tongue”, or “speaking out of both sides of his mouth”…
There is in all of us a preference for our right hand or left. The source of the third definition is that someone that uses the “other” hand is not being true to themselves.
SOME FACTS ABOUT HAND PREFERENCE
(I apologize - I don’t have references for these facts... But just look on the internet)
We live in a right-handed world.
- Only about 8-15% of the world is left-handed.
- Studies indicate that left-handedness is more common in males than females.
- Left-handedness, in comparison to the general population, also appears to occur more frequently in identical twins, and several groups of neurologically disordered individuals (epilepsy, downs, autism)
- People of South Asian, Eastern European, Southeast Asian descent are more left-handed than any other ethnic groups in the world
- In identical twins, there is a 76% chance that both will be left-handed if one is – showing that our hand preference is at least in part genetic.
Throughout history, left-handedness has been opposed, and right-handedness preferred.
- What do you call your most valuable assistant in any activity? Your right-hand man.
- What do you say if someone is a bad dancer? They have two left feet.
- The English word sinister has its root word in Latin which means left. Sinister" comes from the Latin word sinus meaning "pocket": a traditional Roman toga had only one pocket, located on the left side for the convenience of a right-handed wearer. The contemporary Italian word sinistra has both meanings of sinister and left.
Even the words, ambidextrous and ambilevous, opposites, express this preference!
- Ambidextrous – ambi (both) and dextrous (right-handed)… literally having two right hands
- Ambilevous – equally clumsy with both hands – literally having two left hands
This mental acceptance has some Biblical basis:
The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. Eccl 10:2 (NIV) (KJV – a fool’s heart is in his left hand)
The right hand symbolized the greater blessing
Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn. Gen 48:14 (in vs 17 Joseph tried to correct him)
GOD IS RIGHT-HANDED
There are literally dozens of references to God using His right hand. There are NO references that describe God using his left.
God created with his right hand (Isa 48:13)
My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; Isaiah 48:13 (NIV)
He swears by his right hand (Isa 62:8)
The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: Isaiah 62:8 (NIV)
He saves with His right hand (Psa 98:1)
Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. Psalms 98:1 (NIV)
He judges with His right hand (Ex 15:6)
Your right hand, O LORD, was majestic in power. Your right hand, O LORD, shattered the enemy. Ex 15:6 (NIV)
WHAT IS IN GOD’S RIGHT HAND?
Righteousness (Psa 48:10)
Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness. Psalms 48:10 (NIV)
Pleasures forevermore (Psa 16:11)
In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11 (NKJV)
The church (Rev 1:20)
"The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches. Rev 1:20 (NKJV)
Those that follow him (Psa 63:8)