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The Lord your God will hold your right hand

Columbia Biblical Studies: Wednesday, May 7
Columbia Biblical Studies: Wednesday, May 7
Irene Marie Dorey

Today’s bible study is from Isaiah 41:13: For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you “Do not fear; I will help you.”

In this comforting verse, we are once again reminded of the powerful symbolism of the right hand. Here, the Lord will hold our right hands – not our left hands. This possibly dates to some Latin roots in which the left hand was considered evil, while the right hand was considered to be good. Even to this day, when being introduced to someone, we shake right, rather than left hands. In many churches, the Apostles Creed is included each week, at one point referencing, ‘sitting at the right hand of God.,’ not the left. This is rather interesting to consider as we try to understand this verse.

In order to appreciate today’s verse, it is important to consider the preceding verses in Isaiah which speak of both friends and servants. The faithful of the nation receive the honored, corporate designation as the servant of the Lord. As his servants, they stood in bold contrast to the rest of the nations with Israel as the servant.

Friendis an even higher designation than servant, and Isaiah speaks of a greater faithfulness. Isaiah also speaks of being taken from the ends of the earth, saying, "In the final days, God will re-gather Israel from her worldwide dispersion as he did from Egypt and Babylon because Israel is God’s chosen nation."

And now, once again, we are told not to fear. Israel need not fear God’s destructive judgment as the rest of the nations do, because He is their God and will be faithful to His promise to restore the nation.

So although we try to understand a bit of history and context, we still do not live in those times and circumstances. The one circumstance that remains the same is the keeping of our faithfulness to God and fulfilling His purpose for us. If this is our duty and our pledge, we will be safe from harm. We will, as children of God, be protected. He will hold us by the right hand and speak to us gently. The Lord will comfort us, reminding us that we have nothing to fear, even through the most trying times, and that He will be with us. Let us take comfort and gladness from these words in our time and place, since they are eternal and everlasting.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.

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