The Right Hand
By Carl Hagensick
Face to Face
“I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”—Psalm 16:8-11
Whether David is here speaking of himself or whether his words are prophetic of the Messiah, there is an apparent inconsistency in these verses. In verse eight the writer has placed God at his right hand but in verse eleven the writer is at the right hand of God.
In all other instances in the Psalms it is Jehovah who places the other person at his [God’s] right hand.
Usually when we think of two monarchs sitting side by side we picture two thrones facing the audience. In such a posture one is at the right hand of the main monarch and the other has the main king at his left hand.
The Psalmist sees a different scene. Rather than seeing two monarchs side by side, he sees them facing each other so that they can both be at the other s right hand. The relationship between these two monarchs (whether they be David and Jehovah or Jesus and his Father) is not formal but familial. They are seated in a conversational mode as two who are discussing the affairs of state.
This is the relationship to which God invites us. He seeks family members, a bride for his son. His relationship is not as a ruler to subject, nor even as a former co-regent, but rather as a friend he sits to talk to us. “Come, he says, let us reason together” (Isa. 1:18). As with Moses of old, he talks with us “face to face, as a man speaketh with a friend” (Exod. 33:11).