The hand of God is on your life. This is a common statement among Christians, but what does it mean when God’s hand is on you? Let’s talk about it and see if we can shed some light on what is meant by the hand of God.
God’s Hand Meaning
The hand of God has been used to refer to any events out of the ordinary including a slightly controversial goal by Argentine footballer Diego Maradona in the 1986 FIFA World Cup.
But what is the hand of God, really? The first mention of God’s hand in the King James Version of the Bible, is found in Exodus 3. While speaking with Moses about Pharaoh and the forthcoming deliverance of His people, God said these words,
And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go (Exodus 3:20 KJV, emphasis added).
The word translated as “hand” is the Aramaic word yâd, (pronounced yawd). Yâd refers to the literal hand, an open one, but is also used to indicate power, means, or direction.
When God told Moses He would stretch out His hand, He meant that He would demonstrate His power in Egypt. If you read through the account of the events that happened before the exodus, you’ll realize that’s exactly what He did. God stretched out His hand in Egypt and demolished their gods. He established Himself as the Ultimate Ruler in heaven and on earth.
When someone says God’s hand is on you, it usually means that God is working in your life. It is typical used in a positive light but can have a negative connotation as well. The hand of God denotes His power and ability to work to accomplish His will.
So, if God’s hand speaks about His power, what’s the right hand of God? What about God’s left hand?
What is the meaning of God’s right hand?
The Bible talks about the right hand of God, especially His “righteous right hand”. Let’s look at this phrase in context to see if we can get a better understanding of what the Bible means when it talks about God’s right hand.
After God had parted the Red Sea and delivered them from the Egyptians, the Israelites composed a song of praise (Exodus 15:1-19). That song of praise contained these words,
Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. Exodus 15:6 ESV
The word translated as “right hand” is the Hebrew word yâmîyn, (pronounced yaw-meen’). Yâmîyn is used to refer to the right hand or side (leg, eye) of a person or other object (as the stronger and more dexterous one).
God’s right hand represents His ultimate power, authority, dominance, and rule. We know that God is all-powerful, but when we speak of God’s right-hand, it’s our limited way of trying to express the power with which God is moving in our lives.
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God’s righteous right hand
Isaiah 41:10 talks about God’s “righteous right hand”,
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ (NKJV)
This statement can be somewhat confusing because we know that God is righteous, so is His right hand more righteous than other parts of His body?
Isaiah prophesied a lot about the coming Messiah. In a period when the Israelites and the nations around them were steeped in idolatry, there were many prophesies about the coming fall and exile of Israel, as well, the punishment of the nations around them. But in the midst of Isaiah’s message, there was also a thread of hope.
Isaiah reminded God’s people that though they had lost God’s favor and would be punished for their sins, their banishment would not last forever. Someday, God would visit His people and He would redeem all that had been lost. Isaiah 41 was a reminder that He would not forget them, they were His chosen people and He would help them.
Other translations of Isaiah 41:10 can help us understand the concept behind God’s righteous right hand. Here are some alternate translations:
- victorious right hand (NLT)
- right hand of righteousness (BSB)
- righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation] (AMP)
- saving right hand (NET)
The phrase “God’s righteous right hand” is just a way to emphasize how powerful God’s hand is. When the hand of God is working on your behalf, you can be assured that you will have the victory.
What About God’s Left Hand?
God’s left hand is rarely mentioned in Scripture, here are three instances:
In response to King Ahab’s question about whether he should go to war against Ramoth Gilead, the prophet Micaiah said this,
- Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. 1 Kings 22:19 NKJV
- Then Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing on His right hand and His left. 2 Chronicles 18:18 NKJV
During his time of trials, Job wanted an audience with God to declare his innocence. In response to Eliphaz, one of his friends, accusation of wickedness, Job had this to say about God,
- When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him. Job 23:9 NKJV
There are few mentions of God’s left hand in Scripture, not because it’s weaker than His right, but because when God is working He’s always at His best.
God’s Hand Bible Verses
We’re all in God’s hand. Being in God’s hand can be a scary thing if you’re living in rebellion against Him, or it can be a comforting thought because you know you can trust Him to take good care of you. If you’re not in right standing with God, confess your sins and repent. But if you are, meditate on these Bible verses about God’s hand and know that you are in the best place possible.
- The hand of God upholds us. It is our strength.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 ESV
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. – Psalm 138:7 ESV
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. – Isaiah 41:13-14 ESV
Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy. – Exodus 15:6 ESV
- All of humanity, whether we choose to acknowledge God or not, are in His hands.
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. – Isaiah 49:16 ESV
But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him. – Ecclesiastes 9:1 ESV
My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! – Psalm 31:15 ESV
But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. – Isaiah 64:8 ESV
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV
In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. – Job 12:10 ESV
God’s Unchanging Hand
As believers, we’re encouraged to “hold on to God’s unchanging hand”. God is the only constant in our universe. He always was and always will be. He never changes. God’s hand is unchanging. We can trust Him to work on our behalf and in our best interest.
Lord, thank You for keeping me under the shadow of Your right hand. I ask that You open my eyes to see You working in my life and in the lives of those around me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Do you get preoccupied with your daily lives to the point that you forget how truly blessed you are? Take a minute to think of five small things that God has done for you today (for example a sunrise or sunset).
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