left hand right handOver the next few days, I want to share with you some truths I have learned about the significance of the left hand and the right hand as it pertains to the Bible and the kingdom of God.
For a long time, there was a passage in the gospel of Matthew that troubled me.  In the passage, the Lord Jesus is speaking to His disciples:
Matt. 6:“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
My thought, when I read this, was how can my left hand not know what my right hand is doing?  How can I hide something from myself?  Christ’s instruction confounded me, and I was unable to obtain what I believed were substantive answers.  I looked in many of my Bibles and found no references to any passages in the Old Testament, and in my prayer time the Lord was silent on this matter.  However, as I began to learn more about the kingdom of God, I knew this passage had greater significance that what I understood.  I knew that I had to continue seeking, for I remember the promise of Christ:  Ask, and it shall be given, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened.  So I began to seek, and as I was seeking in the Old Testament, the passage that began to open up my understanding was in the book of Jonah:
Jonah 4:11 “And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”
Here, God is speaking to Jonah, and explaining to him that there are people in Nineveh, a city of Gentiles, that do not know their left hand from their right hand.  Here, clarity began for me.  There is an inference in this passage that Jonah, a Jew, understood the distinction between the left hand and the right hand.  The people of Nineveh, however, were not Jews.  They would not have been aware of any such distinction because God did not reveal such a distinction to Gentiles.  His teachings and instruction were given to Israel only, and no other nation. Now, I had to find out what this distinction is, and why it is so important in the kingdom of God.
TOMORROW:  What I learned about the left hand and the right hand, and subsequently about myself as it pertained to giving and the kingdom of God.