First Things @ First
As the weather warms, the urge to get outdoors and clean up around the property is often seen by many in the community. In the process, one often discovers their hands dirty and bodies often perspire. While work leaves a person with a good sense of accomplishment, it leaves the body covered with a combination of less desiring aftereffects. And at the end of a long day in the garden or working on the yard, a good shower is welcome refreshment. With it one can wash away the grime of being involved in 'the world' around us and experience better rest afterward.
The scripture reminds us often that clean hands and a pure heart are imperative for a healthy relationship with our Lord and Savior. As we go about our daily service, there is always the possibility we pick up some things that need to be 'showered' off to experience the refreshment of His rest. As we go about our daily service to the Lord in the world, the grime of our surroundings has the tendency to cling to us. And as we have been often reminded in recent weeks, washing your hands is particularly important before encountering others. Even more on a spiritual level before God through Jesus Christ!
As O.S. Hawkins comments, "Cleansing your hands has to do with turning away from unwise actions. Purifying our hearts has to do with repenting of our ungodly attitudes. The actions of our hands are always a result of the attitudes of the heart." end
Therefore, when the scripture states, "Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded," God means for us to be cleansed from the effect of the 'grime' we are exposed to daily in the world. As we journey along the way, the dirt will collect periodically. It is just part of getting out of our protected space in attempting to clean up what collects around us with time.
As disciples we are commanded to go out into the world and to come clean before God. That is possible as you and I permit the Holy Spirit to purify our hearts daily. In so doing, we will discover that washing our hands is not needed as frequently because our attitudes concerning life have much to do with our actions in life.
The Psalmist David asked, "who may ascend to the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?" The answer--"he who has clean hands and a pure heart. Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol." Psalm 24:3-4
"Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise."