The Right Side OF LIVING
By Richard Thomas / June 27, 2017
Recently, as I was reflecting on 46 years of marriage to the most wonderful, beautiful woman in the world, I noticed a similarity in all our pictures, either standing or seated - my wife is always posed on my right side. Is this merely coincidence of symbolism? It certainly wasn’t purposeful thought on my part.
It may simply be meaningless happenstance, but to me the continuity of our plethora of photo ops whether selfies or posed by skilled photographers exposes a metaphor. The right side symbolizes strength in metaphorical terms. Humbling myself to my wife’s council has always been a win/win.
From earliest literary times; from the ancient Mesopotamians to the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans – there has been strong bias towards the right hand. Moses is accredited to writing - “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand…” Psalm 91:7 (ESV) and speaking of the ascended Christ; Acts 5:31 (ESV) “God exalted him at His right hand as Leader and Savior…” The apostle Paul of the New Testament, being a Hebrew and Greek scholar wrote in his letter to the Christians in Rome… Romans 8:34 (ESV) “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand of God, who is indeed interceding for us.”
My wife being on my right side in every photo speaks metaphorically to me of being my source of strength. More often than I can count, I should have listened to her advice instead of blowing it off as nagging. My wife is always right. Every attempt to prove my wife wrong ended up with microwave burritos for dinner. Even if I have unequivocal proof she is wrong, after 46 years, I’ve learned to leave it alone. It’s not worth having cold cereal or microwaving frozen burritos for supper.
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the Earth, his plan was perfect harmony for the universe. There was balance. God divided the light from the darkness, land from the sea, earth and sky.
God created the engine for reproduction with male and female of every creature with an exception. Some creatures possessed a capacity for self-replication when one gender is missing, but as a rule, every creature required a counterpart to fill the Earth with their kind, even humans, created with the genius to develop empires and the skill to burn them down, given dominion over every creature on planet Earth, formed out of dust, destined for the same. “..He created them male and female. Genesis 1:27
From Genesis chapter 1 and 2 we can surmise that for some time Adam was a unique creature. Adam completed the task of name tagging in an undisclosed amount of time, calling all the animals names, without delay, God set about validating His proclamation “…everything was very good.” Genesis 1:31
The only time God said something about His creation that wasn’t good, “…it is not good for man to be alone. ..“ Genesis 2:18, is not God confessing forgetfulness, like leaving something out of a recipe. The time span between Genesis 2:18-23 is expressed in Genesis 1:27
Genesis 1:27-28 shows nameless man and woman working in perfect unison as rulers of inhabited Earth while Genesis 2:18-25 reveals the intent of God the Father giving away the first bride in a ceremony not expressed in Genesis 1.
By Genesis chapter 2 nameless man has a name. Logically, the author of Genesis names the man as the name defines his origin and future. Adam names his wife Eve in Genesis 3, after The Fall, as the name defines the future of humanity in Christ. Remember, in Adam, all died. By faith in the seed of the woman, the resurrected Christ, all are made alive. Cross reference Genesis 3:15 with John 6:57 and 14:19.
God appointed the woman whom He formed from Adam’s rib to be his helper because He knew Adam would need directions. It is my opinion that God symbolically, chose Adam’s right side to extract a rib to form his helper. That must be why the wife is always right. Only a wise husband will humble himself to admit this. Trust me! As I’ve said before. This will lead to bliss in your home, guys!
When King Solomon ascended to the throne of Israel at a very young age, his mother “she sat on his right.” 1 Kings 2:19. Bathsheba, no doubt provided wise council for her little boy, as Solomon confessed later in 1 Kings 3:7 “I am but a little child.” Though this was his mother, the same principle applies. The woman on the right side provided encouragement for the man as a helper. Tragically for Solomon, he no doubt at a point in later life divorced his mother’s council, triggering an avalanche of moral decline for the whole nation of Israel, graphically illustrating the prevailing choice for Adam’s race – Evil.
Can a woman be a prevailing force for evil while standing at the right side of her man or man-child? Certainly! The daughters of Eve are equally inept to encourage evil as their righteous sisters. The mother of all was overwhelmed by the old serpent’s power of persuasion while her husband stood at her side. Adam was not deceived yet remained speechless throughout the entire dialog between the devil and Mrs. Adam.
This is a common phrase throughout the chronicling of leadership of the kings of Israel and Judah, starting with wise Solomon: “…his wives turned away his heart after other gods” 1 Kings 11:4 (ESV). “There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited.” 1 Kings 21:25 (ESV) Clearly, these women were at the right side of wrong for their men.
The right side is preferred. “…choose this day whom you will serve,…” Joshua 24:15 (ESV) “Let us choose what is right; let us know among ourselves what is good.” Job 24:4 (ESV) Good and evil is laid before everyone each day. It is never wrong to choose good and difficult to refuse evil. “…refuse the evil and choose the good.” Isaiah 7:15 (ESV) Why was the dynasty of Israel so short lived? “…the people of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things that were not right…” 2 Kings 17:9 (ESV)
There were Kings of Israel who bore the painful reminders of doing the wrong thing for the right reason. Saul, the son of Kish was anointed as first human king of Israel because the community grew tired of serving a demanding king they could not see through ignorance. "There arose a new generation that did not know The LORD or the work He had done for Israel." Judges 2:10 As a result, the children of Israel fell headlong into apostasy. So, God gave them a king like the rest of the surrounding nations; that by the way, were plundering and pillaging His chosen people. Saul was head and shoulders taller than anyone in Israel. He was an impressive man; big and strong but possessed a stubborn streak equal to the livestock his father kept. "Now the donkeys of Kish were lost..." 1 Samuel 9:3 (ESV)
King Saul thought of himself as a brilliant military strategist while mowing down Philistines by the thousands. "Because God was for him, who could be against him." A key element to Saul's military conquests was his adviser - the prophet Samuel.
During a pause in one particular difficult campaign, king Saul not to follow Samuel's specific instructions found in 1 Samuel chapter 13. Saul waited 8 days as instructed by Samuel. When Samuel didn't show immediately on day 8, Saul panicked as he witnessed his troops pealing away in the heat of battle. King Saul did the wrong thing for the right reason in offering an unlawful sacrifice to The LORD. Saul's reign as king of Israel would come to a sad end.
In 2 Chronicles chapter 26, Uzziah was anointed king by the people of Judah at the age of 16. He reigned 52 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. One thing I notice when the scribes penned the record of Jewish kings, The kings that accomplished good; most of the time, the names of their mothers are mentioned. He did the right thing "...as long as he sought the LORD, God caused him to prosper - verse 5.
But Uzziah also did the wrong thing for the right reason. There was no one as devoted as Uzziah to The LORD. As such, the king got it in his head that as king, he could do whatever he pleased. One day Uzziah walks into the temple, decides he will offer incense that was only authorized for the priests to burn before The LORD. His reason was right. Nobody loved and served God like King Uzziah. But it was the wrong thing to do. Result; he remained a leper till the end of his days - verse 16-21.
Why did Jesus turn water into wine? It was the right thing to do. Mary mentioned the wine supply had run dry to no one but Jesus because He was at her right side. The beloved disciple heard the conversation, being as he was on Jesus’ right side. Jesus always did the right thing. He bears the evidence in His hands, side and feet.
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17 (ESV)
How do we know what the right thing to do is? Before ascending to the Father, Jesus promised that when he goes away, he would send the Holy Spirit to dwell within his followers. The Holy Spirit always knows the right thing to do. Consequently they that walk by the Spirit will know the right thing to do because the Spirit of God knows the mind of God. The Holy Spirit; the Helper will guide you to a fruitful existence not forbidden by law. The right side of living is Galatians 5:22-23.