Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean. ~Haggai 2:14
Most people do not know the name of Ignaz Phillip Semmelweiss. Back in his day, physicians and those who assisted them did not realize the importance of thoroughly washing their hands before and after treating a patient. Many physicians would treat a sick person or examine a dead body in the morning and neglect to wash their hands. They would then perform births with filthy hands. Many women and their newly-born children died from infections caused by transfer of germs. It wasn’t until Semmelweiss made the correlation that they realized the cause of so many deaths. His message to the medical community was, “Wash your hands!” The message that God told Haggai to convey to the Jews was, “Wash your hands!”
We see the revealing CAUSE.
“If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean,” Hag. 2:12-13. The Lord was telling Haggai that the people and priests had a problem regarding spiritual uncleanness. They were unclean due to a disobedience to the Scriptures. They knew from the book of Leviticus that when the service of the Lord was being executed, the priests were to avoid contaminating the things of God. The priests were negligently disobedient. They were also unclean due to a disregard of their separation. They were not being careful with their personal separation. Like the Jews, we can easily become contaminated with sinful things with which we are in contact. Let us be more conscious of maintaining lives that are holy and pure.
We see the revolting CURSE.
The entire nation was cursed with uncleanness. Uncleanness makes our sacrifices unacceptable. Uncleanness makes our prayers unanswerable. Uncleanness makes our service unabounding. Uncleanness makes our fellowship with God unapproachable. We are powerless and weak. We are lacking in God’s blessing. Nothing we do has God’s approval upon it. We must return to the place of seeing that God’s work is holy, and that we must be a holy people. The people became so conceited about themselves that they declared themselves clean, when in fact, they were very unclean. No wonder the work on rebuilding the temple was halted for so long. When there is a loss of interest in God’s work, we can trace the reason to hearts and hands that are unclean. Uncleanness will make us indifferent and blinded to the right priorities.
We see the responsible CONDUCT.
We need to wash our hands from our filthiness. Hands are always a symbol of service to the Lord. Unwashed hands corrupt and defile whatever they touch. On the other hand, hands that are clean have God’s blessing on them. Hands that are clean are made strong by the hands of the Almighty (Gen. 49:24). Hands that are clean can keep a firm grip on what is in their possession. They might grow weary and even shake, but they cling tightly to what is in their possession. Hands that are clean are not holding stones to be cast at other people. Hands that are clean are hands that are strengthened for the work. Hands that are clean are holy in worship. Hands that are clean are lifted in prayer for God’s blessings.
We see the rewarding CONSEQUENCE.
Hands that are clean see positive results. Hands that are clean see productive results. Hands that are clean see powerful results. Hands that are clean result in life and not death. Hands that are clean result in helping and not hurting.
Let’s wash our hands thoroughly. Let’s be careful to constantly wash our hands so that our service is unhindered.
Have a purified God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 21-22