It seems that wherever you go these days, you see signs encouraging people to wash their hands. With the constant threat of germs and viruses spreading disease throughout the general public, health officials continually remind us that unwashed hands form the single greatest agent for the spread of germs. So, in addition to the signs calling for vigilant hand- washing, public places will often provide hand sanitizers to help take care of germs and bacteria.

David also spoke of the importance of “clean hands,” but for a dramatically different reason. He said that clean hands are one key to being able to enter into God’s presence for worship: “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?” he asked. And the answer? “He who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Ps. 24:3-4). Here “clean hands” is not a reference to personal hygiene but a metaphor for our spiritual condition—being cleansed from sin (1 John 1:9). It speaks of a life committed to what is right and godly—enabling us to stand blameless before our Lord in the privilege of worship.

As His life is lived out in our lives, He can help us to do what’s right so that our hands are clean and our hearts are ready to give worship to our great God.