I overheard a conversation between a few elderly ladies. Someone had come across a Bible verse in the book of Proverbs, mentioning the left and right hands. Hailing from a background where reading the palms of hands and horoscopes is rampant, and despite her being a self-professing Christian, I heard (not so clearly) the rest of the conversation steered towards palm reading insinuating that the Bible was endorsing it. She was speaking about the palms of females.
That was this morning. Later on, I decided to search for this verse she was mentioning, as I did feel something was amiss. It didn’t take long to find the verse.
Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honour – Proverbs 3:16.
At one glance it is easy to understand it referring to a woman stating the obvious ‘her’. There was no mention of the word palm in this verse to start with. I scrolled up a few verses to understand the context. This verse is speaking of WISDOM being personified as a female. This personification is consistent.
No, the Bible will not endorse reading palms and horoscopes. What we need to know God will reveal to us in due time, and through the Holy Spirit. What is not centred around God, will be centred around evil spirits and thus will be the source of knowledge too.
On the other hand, what does the Bible say about palms? I was curious!
Leviticus mentions the rituals the priests had to adhere to when making atonement – which includes sprinkling oil from the palm. The other verse was this while the rest of the verses that mentioned palms were in regards to the palm trees!
God speaks through Isaiah to the Israelites about their restoration:
Isaiah 49:16 – See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are ever before Me.
Thus, us being His children, we can assume it goes for us too! It is us that is engraved on the palm of His hands then do we even need to find out how many days of our life would be and how rich we would be? If we truly trusted in God would we question all this or have faith that He provides for our needs as long as we seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness? If we loved Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, wouldn’t we echo Paul’s sentiments of longing to enter heaven to be with Him but also being on earth to seek His Kingdom here.
This is just one example out of many verses that are read in isolation and misinterpreted and thus misquoted. We also need to be wary when meditating on one verse let alone what devotionals teach us for this same reason. How easy is it to study a verse out of its context and help validate cultural or other religious beliefs as biblical!