I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O Lord: ~Psalm 26:6
Ignaz Semmelweis was a doctor in the 19th century who was concerned about the high mortality rate of babies that died shortly after birth due to infections. He learned that these deaths could be avoided if medical personnel would simply wash their hands before touching and dealing with a patient. Today, it is standard practice for doctors and medical professionals to wash their hands with alcohol or antibacterial soap under warm running water. All restaurants have poster signs telling their employees to thoroughly wash their hands before they touch or handle any food. We know that good hygiene demands that all of us wash our hands before meals and or after we have been in contact with people. This morning, let us be reminded that “washing our hands” is a mandated requirement for serving God.
We see the metaphor.
The picture David gives us is of the priest as the priest approaches the service of God. In the tabernacle, there was a laver filled with water. There at the laver, the priest would be required to stop and wash his hands and feet before he could serve the Lord. Our hands always symbolize our service to God. The washing of our hands is a picture of our cleansing before God. It is an absolute must that our lives are clean and pure before we serve the living God. Let us not be flippant when it comes to serving God: be sure our hands are washed!
We see the means.
“I will wash mine hands in innocency.” When it comes to spiritual hand washing, there are some important steps involved with this. First, we should wash our hands in sincerity. By this, I am referring to taking time to evaluate who we were with, what we said, and what we did. We must evaluate how did we defile ourselves and in what way did we break fellowship with God. We must be careful that we come before God with sincerity. Second, we should wash our hands with sorrow. When David used the word innocency, it implied godly sorrow about sins he committed. David knew full well the importance of coming to God with a contrite and broken heart when it came to repentance of sins. Third, we must wash our hands scrupulously. All stains, dirt marks, and anything under our fingernails must be cleansed from our hands. When we are done washing our hands, we must be able to say that we washed our hands in innocency.
We see the ministry.
“I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O Lord.” David knew that the only way we can approach God is with a clean and purified heart. He knew he was coming into the holy presence of God. The ministry of approaching the presence of God is one we must uphold with the highest regards and reverence. Our hearts should beat with rapidness as we consider approaching the presence of God. Our hearts should beat with anticipation when it comes to approaching God. Coming to the altar with unwashed or partially clean hands disqualifies us from being fit and acceptable before God. Our prayers will not be answered. Our service is nullified. Our credibility is unacceptable. God cannot and will not use a dirty vessel. However, when our hearts and lives are clean, God accepts us and is ready to put us to great use for His glory.
Washing our hands must be a formality. Washing our hands must be frequent. Make sure you have washed your hands before you approach the presence of God!
Have hand-washed God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Acts 9-10