The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet’. Psalm 110:1 (Matthew 22:43-44)
I was born into a family of left handed people. They always reminded me “only left handers are in their right minds”, because supposedly the theory was we use the opposite sides of our brains from the dominant hand. Whenever we’d go out ot eat my siblings would yell, “Dibs on not sitting next to Julie” because then we’d bump elbows. It was quite embarrassing and I felt shunned. Later, I found out they felt shunned. They all had teachers who at one time or another tried to make them right handed. Left handed people were considered non-conformists, at best.
Right hand. In the ancient world, your right hand was the hand of power and purity. You only used your left hand, if I can put this delicately, to cleanse yourself. They didn’t have toilet paper back then. A punishment for stealing was to lop off the right hand, thus making that person an outcast in society because, in their eyes, he would never be clean again. I guess that was a good determent.
In the Bible, to sit at the King’s right hand was an honor. It was usually reserved for the eldest son, or the most faithful warrior. It meant you were closest to the King, so he obviously trusted you. You had his ear and were in a position to learn the most from him. But it also meant you were ready to act whenever he wanted you to do something for him. He could touch your arm and whisper his orders. You were at his side, poised for action. That is why today we call a faithful employee the boss’ right hand man. He is the person who is being trained for better things, the one the boss can rely on to get things done.
Jesus today sits at the right hand of God in the heavenly realms. But, I think we are called to sit spiritually at the right hand of God as well. We are, afterall, to be imitators of Christ. It is up to us to be prepared, to have a clean conscience and and open heart, ready to serve whenever God needs us. If we consider our faith an honor and forget the duty that comes with it, then we fall into pride. We forget whom it is we are to serve. And, like the sons of Zebedee we get jealous if someone else is sitting in our place.
But there is another side to being at the right hand . The Psalm says the Lord commands his servant to sit. To sit requires waiting, doesn’t it? We must also have patience and be content to be still until God tells us it is the time to act. We must let Him put our “enemies under our feet”. In other words, He must wait while God prepares the way that ensures victory. If we are too confident in our abilities and dash off without His counsel and preparation, then we just may get into to trouble and not be able to do His bidding. Sitting require humility.
Lord, let me be content to sit at your right hand, learning from You until You call me to task. Let me realize it is a position of trust, of love and of duty. It is recognizing You are Lord over my I am glad that you say, “Dibs on having Julie sit next to me.”