“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 soiled. What difference does it make?
According to Psalm 24, there is 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” translated 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 that “what comes out of us has a home within us.” In other words, if God is in us - God comes out of us. If God is not dwelling within us, His “ways” and His “will” certainly cannot come out of us.
We also need “clean hopes” or beliefs so 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 worship and build our lives around.
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. Keeping our word is a statement about our honesty.
Prayer: Lord, we’re so careful not to touch unclean, dirty or disgusting things. We try to avoid them at all costs. May we have that attitude toward sin. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: The one who has clean hands and a pure heart. Psalm 24:4a