Most folks are either right or left dominant. They may catch, sew or throw with one hand or the other. The same is true about ones feet. In connection with this thought is a chapter in the book of Leviticus. In six verses of chapter fourteen one finds “right” used over and over. One can only speculate as to why the right is chosen over the left. God chose to emphasize the right ear, hand and foot.
While we may not know why the right was chosen the left we can see why the specific body parts were chosen.
The oil (verse 28) was to be put upon the right ear of the priest. Why? The ear is the means of hearing the word. The priest needs to be one who continually listens to the Word of God. Eleven times in Leviticus we find the word “hear.” One could not faithfully serve God as a priest without following what his ear heard (1 Samuel 3:9). The book of Leviticus could be described as a handbook or manual for the priest and high priest.
There are important lessons for us to learn from the right ear. Christians now serve as the priests of God (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Romans 12:1). We are not free to worship and work for God according to our own desires. We, like the Old Testament priests, are to listen. Our ears are to be open to hear the commandments of our Lord. “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5; see also Hebrews 1:2). How many today would rather not listen to Jesus? They listen to their heart, the majority or culture. We simply cannot do that. Let your ear be tuned to hear Jesus from the scriptures (John 12:48).
Next, the oil was placed upon the right hand of the priest. The office of the priest involved service. His hands were to be busy serving the Lord. Luke records that it was Zecharias’ job (Luke 1:9) was to burn incense in the temple. Every priest had a job to do. Because they failed to listen to God, Nadab and Abihu, did not use their hands properly. The offered to God what was called “strange fire” (Lev. 10:1-2).
Are we using our hands to serve God? “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiates 9:10). Moses was asked by God, “What is that in thine hand?” (Exo. 4:2). Our hand may be holding a writing instrument. With our hand we may type on a keyboard. With our hands we may hold a needle. Do you get the picture? With our hands we are to do good (Eph.. 4:28; Acts 20:34) for the benefit of others. Imagine using your hands to open the Bible so that you can study with someone (1 Pet. 3:15). Can you see your hands holding grocery bags to carry to a needy family? Do you use your hands to pat someone on the back for a job well done? Are your hands strong enough to “support the weak” (1 Thes. 5:14). How often are our hands used for destroying rather than building up? Do we “close” our hands to the needs of others (Galatians 6:7-10)? May our hands be devoted to the service of our God.
The right foot had the oil applied to it as well. Maybe this was a reminder that wherever their feet carried them they were priests of God. Regardless if they were in the temple, at home or traveling between these places they were still set apart as servants to God. Do you suppose this is why the priest and the Levite (Luke 10:31, 32) are shown in an unfavorable light? It seems they did not carry their faith outside their worship place.
Where do your feet carry you? Traveling by foot was probably the way the priest got to his destination. The Scriptures quite often make the parallel of walking as it relates to the Christian life (Rom. 4:12; 2 Cor. 5:7; Gal. 6:16; Eph. 5:2; et al).
Our feet should be carrying us to the lost. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20). If we do not go how will they learn the truth?
Will we allow our feet to carry us to worship? Not every once in a while but to every service! That should include Bible classes and worship. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25). David was “glad” when others spoke about going to worship God (Psa. 122:1).
Daniel Gaines, a preacher who comes to camp with us, gave a lesson about different shoes. After talking about the wrong ones he spoke about the “work” boot. As he finished he asked about the difference between the shoes. The “bad” shoes all fit the left foot. The work boot was the “RIGHT” one.
God doesn’t want just our right ear, hand and foot. He wants all (Matt. 22:37). Will you give Him all?