The right hand is the place of honor. It’s the place of confidence. In our day, when two people shake hands it’s a gesture of trust and respect. Psalm 16 is King David’s song of trust in God. It begins with, “Keep me safe, Oh God, for in you I take refuge.” It ends with the handshake of God’s presence.
As David describes the wisdom of placing his trust in God, he makes a curious statement in verse 8, “Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” David says, in effect, that he has placed God close at hand, on his right side. David has given God the place of honor in his life, and (here’s the presence) has placed God closer than anyone else in his life.
The very last verse in the psalm declares, “you fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Because David gave God the place of honor in his life, God returned the favor and sets David at His right hand.
Now, I know this is a Messianic Psalm. David is a type of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus. Both Peter and Paul quote this Psalm with reference to Jesus. But the psalm can serve as instruction for us, so please allow these two Monday Memo observations:
First: those who honor God will receive honor from God. Where do I place God each day in my life? At the right hand? The left? Or far away from my hands? In the scripture, our “hands” are shorthand for our actions, for what we do. In the Bible, what we do reflects who we are. We demonstrate our respect for the Father by what we do.
Second: notice the handshake of his presence. God is at David’s right hand, and David discovers the security of his presence. In return, God places David at His right hand, and David discovers joy and eternal pleasure. When we shake hands with God, demonstrating our trust and respect, we receive security, joy, and the pleasure of his presence. That’s the hand I want to shake today.