The Significance Of Our Hands

Clean hands and a pure heart are connected. If your heart is pure, the actions of your hands will also be. 

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Did you know that our hands are not only an extension of our arms, but of our hearts as well?  I was pondering on this recently and asked for a deeper understanding.  Here’s what I learned:

“He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God His Savior.” (Psalm 24: 4-6, NIV)

Here’s another Scripture about hands:  “The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands, He has rewarded me.”  (2 Samuel 22: 21, NIV)

Why is the cleanness of our hands associated with righteousness? This verse not only associates clean hands and righteousness, but it also speaks of receiving a reward. Yes, when our hands are clean, we are rewarded.

To those of you who know the importance of washing our hands, especially before meals, you will love hearing this:  We get rewards from washing, and it’s more than removing the germs!  

No seriously, we are being told that our hands are to be cleansed for sacred use. “I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, O Lord proclaiming aloud your praise telling of all your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 26: 6-7, NIV)

In the Tabernacle days, before any ministry took place in His holy place, the Priests were to wash their hands.

Why was the washing of hands required? Washing was a sign of consecration.  Outward preparation to meet God, symbolizes the inward consecration God requires of his people

The righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger.” (Job 17: 9, NIV)  The washing of hands makes us grow stronger spiritually.  When we cleanse our hearts before the Lord, we grow.

There is a place that we are to uphold, a place that is close to the heart of the Lord, the place of having clean hands and a pure heart.  This place should be part of our walk with the Lord.  Not just a part, but a lifestyle.  As the Holy Spirit grows us, our character changes, and the sinful things that we used to engage in, no longer should entrap us.

Our Hands were made to deliver folks from sin, not help to engage in it.
‘He will deliver even one who is not innocent, who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.” (Job 22: 30, NIV)

Clean hands speak of guiltless actions.  If our heart is pure, our hands and actions will be pure.  Our motivations will be pure, without defilement.

In the Old Testament, why did the priests have to wash before they went into the temple?   “The Lord said to Moses, make a bronze basin with its bronze stand for washing.  Place it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and put water in it.  Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet with water from it.  Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die.  Also, when they approach the altar to minister, by presenting an offering made to the Lord by fire, they shall wash their hands and feet so they will not die.  This is to be a lasting ordinance.” (Exodus 30: 17-21 , NIV)

Washing was a requirement or death would occur.  Before entering into the Presence of God, into the Tent of Meeting, where God was dwelling, they were required to wash.  It was not an option.  If they disobeyed, they would die!

I think the point is made clear that meeting with God without first examining oneself could result in being removed from Him. God requires us to live holy and blameless lives, but He knows that we cannot without the sacrifice being made, without the shedding of blood.  In the Old Testament, an animal had to be sacrificed and the blood of that animal was sprinkled on the altar before a man could enter the tabernacle.

As we are New Testament covenant people of God, we enter into the Presence of God by the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross for our sins. (Selah)  It is only by the sacrifice of Jesus that we can now enter and be made holy.  We can enter into a complete relationship without anything hindering us.   The separation that once existed between man and God is no longer present.  Jesus is the bridge between man and God.  That is astounding to me!

When God looks at you, as a believer, He doesn’t see you, He sees Jesus. What a God we serve.  What a Savior we have!  To die for us so that we could be set free,  free from death, free from punishment, and set free forever–to live forever eternally.

Grasp what the Holy Spirit is saying.  Cleansing was and is required of God.  As a believer of Jesus, He has washed us from our sins and cleansed us from all unrighteousness.  He desires us to live for Him, be used by Him, to touch people with our lives, and with our hands.

Male or female, we are servants of God, washed by His blood, and now contributors of His image.  “They made the bronze basin and its bronze stand from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.” (Exodus 38:8, NIV) In ancient times, mirrored glass was unknown, but highly polished bronze gave adequate reflection.  Women, you are mirror images of Jesus and have a purpose in ministry to serve.

Both female and men are servants.  “Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of the Meeting and wash them with water.”(Exodus 29: 4, NIV)

What were the specific roles of the women in service? Women are gifted artistically.  They were talented and part of the team, who were devoted in providing the daily chores of the needs of the Tabernacle.  They were the water providers, the ones who cleaned, worshipped, and prayed, as service to God.  Their love, devotion and expression released the heart of the Lord to His people.  Their hands brought comfort.  This devotion, appointed by God, has given them a permanent place to work for God.

I find it interesting that women and men were positioned at the entrance.  I know that Aaron, as the Priest, was required to be washed with water before entering.  There is something very special about entering, about entrances.

Women have a special place in God’s heart and in His Kingdom.

The water symbolizes the removal of ceremonial uncleanness (Hebrews 10: 22) and thus signifying the purity that must characterize them.

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”  (Hebrews 10: 22, NIV)

The washing of the hands was a call to preserve our hearts. Perhaps that is why the Psalmist says:  “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?  Who may stand on His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart.”  (Psalm 24: 4, NIV)

Clean hands and a pure heart are connected. If your heart is pure, the actions of your hands will also be.  Our hands are to bless.  Blessings come from the laying on of hands.

Jesus’s hands were pierced on the cross. His final words on that cross were:

“Into your hands I commit my spirit.”  (Psalm 31: 5, NIV) Here’s the rest of the verse:  “Redeem me, O Lord, the God of Truth.”

These words were the climactic expression of TOTAL trust in the Lord, into His care.   When He committed His hands into God’s hands, it was into His Spirit, into His very life. It was a release of that total trust, that union as One, even in the pain.

Your hands are the very hands of God.  Your hands are to bless, deliver, and heal.  Your hands are to be the agent, the transference of God’s Spirit, His anointing.

Your hands are warrior hands.  Your praying hands send a thousand to flight. Your hands clapping, dispel the enemy.  Your hands applaud our God:  Clap your hands all ye people, shout unto God with a voice of triumph.

When the hand of the Lord is upon you, you will bless and be blessed.   He has said, “Because He is at my right hand, I will not be moved.”  (Psalm 16: 8, NIV)

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”  (Psalm 16: 11, NIV)

“The right hand of the Lord shall do valiantly.  At your right hand is the royal bride.  Daughters of the King are among you honored women; is the royal bride, in gold.” (Psalm 45: 9, NIV)

We are at His right hand as royalty and as servants, and as Priests of the Most High God.

“You O Lord, are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand (Isaiah 64: 8, NIV).”  “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me .”  (Psalm 63: 8, NIV)


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About the Author

Mary Beth Pecora, a faithful wife, mother, grandmother, friend, worshiper and servant leader, who loves life and loves people. More importantly, she passionately loves God and the fullness of who He is! For twenty-three years she has served in leadership positions within the ministry of Aglow International. Currently, she and her husband serve at The Secret Place--A Psalm 91 Ministry. It's a place for individual folks to come, be exhorted and prayed for, while being ushered to ministry stations within the room. They continue to serve monthly in the Prayer Room at their home church that they have been a part of for almost forty years. In April of 2022 they both received their Ministry License and will pursue Ordination in the fall. She delights in encouraging folks of all ages within various walks of life. Her love of writing is now her passion, which led her to publish two books, "Restoration Explosion In The New Year," and "Navigating The Mysteries Of God." Above all that’s been accomplished and concluded, the BEST thing to her is knowing her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is her everything—her very best friend. Visit: