“Son,” said Fred’s mother, “dinner is ready and you haven’t washed your hands. They are dirty!”
“They’re not dirty,” he protested, “just a little bit soiled.”
According to Psalm 24, there’s no difference between dirty and soiled. Only those who have clean hands and a pure heart are invited to worship God. So, what does the Psalmist mean when he talks about “clean hands?”
“Clean hands” literally means “clean habits.” Habits are formed over time and are rarely noticed until they draw attention to themselves in one way or another. A habit may be good or bad, depending on its outcome. If it leads to a self-nourishing behavior, or something that leads to wellness or well-being, it is a good habit. But if it is a toxic behavior, and leads to self-destruction or death, it is certainly a bad habit.
“Clean habits” would, of course, begin with a “clean heart.” The Bible is unapologetic when it reminds us “what comes out of us has a home within us.” In other words, God in - God out. If God is not dwelling within us, His “ways” certainly cannot come out of us.
We also need “clean hopes” or we do not worship the “idols” of this world. If God is not in first place, He may as well be considered as being in last place. Why? Whatever is in first place is what we are indeed worshiping.
And we also need a “clean history” - not making any promises we do not intend to keep. If we say it, we must do it or make restitution - make up - what it costs the other.
Prayer: Lord, we’re careful not to touch unclean things or allow them touch us. May we be that way toward sin. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 24:4a He who has clean hands and a pure heart,