Scripture Reading: Exodus 27:1-28:43 / Mark 5:21-6:6 / Psalm 24:1-10
A man visited a jewelry store that was owned by a friend. His friend showed him magnificent diamonds and other splendid stones. Among them, was one that seemed to be dull and lifeless. He remarked, “That has no beauty at all.” His friend put it in the hallow of his hand, closed his hand around it and then in a few moments opened his hand.
To the man’s surprise, the entire stone gleamed with all the splendor of a rainbow. He was amazed and asked his friend what happened. The jeweler answered, “This is an opal. It is what we call the sympathetic jewel. It only needs to be gripped with the human hand to bring out its wonderful beauty.”
In Exodus, we discovered Aaron and Hur had helping hands for Moses. Their hands provided strength for Moses and victory for Israel. David had a heart for God yet his hands revealed the struggles and waywardness of his heart. David loved to worship in Jerusalem and understood the importance of his heart and hands in worship. “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart…” (Psalm 24:3,4)
God regards hands as spiritually, relationally and physically significant. A person’s hands tell a lot about them as they often reveal their profession, lifestyle and age. A mechanic’s hands are rough and calloused whereas a doctor’s hands are smooth and clean. When we age, our hands become weaker, brittle and dry.
Hands are busy with carrying out our desires and will. They express our love, care, compassion, mercy, discipline and even displeasure. Just as the tongue is expressive of the heart, so it is with our hands. People in love, both young and old, enjoy holding hands. Their hearts beat just a little faster and their souls are energized. Our hands have a direct connection to our hearts.
Spiritually, the effects of a sinful and unclean world will cling to our hands. The priests were required to wash their hands in the laver when they entered the tabernacle. It was a reminder of the need for cleansing before approaching God in the Holy Place. David’s hands were stained with the blood of murder and the sin of adultery. The same for us…what has been in our hands? A remote control, magazine, computer mouse, another hand, sin?
Pilate washed his hands, as the Jews demanded Christ’s crucifixion saying, “I find no fault in him!” Peter who refused to let Jesus wash his feet, repented of his pride and requested, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” We need clean hands to approach a holy God. Ask God to clean your heart and your hands. Let go of your grasp on the world…lay hold on the things of God!