How Clean Are Those Hands?
Devotional Thought from Psalm 18:18-24
18 They prevented me in the day of my calamity:
but the Lord was my stay.
19 He brought me forth also into a large place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
20 The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his judgments were before me,
and I did not put away his statutes from me.
23 I was also upright before him,
and I kept myself from mine iniquity.
24 Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.
Does anyone remember when Doritos had guacamole flavor?
Those were my favorite tater chips ever. The Frito-Lay executive that decided to stop making those bad boys may have saved my life, but I am not thankful. I couldn’t say no to them; I just couldn’t, well, except this one time. I was in the restroom washing my hands when I heard a flush and a swinging stall door. A good friend walked by and said hello, and left the room.
Did you pick up what I am dropping down?
He walked out as I washed my hands...
He didn't wash his hands!
I made my way out of the restroom heading to the snack machine for some of my favorite chips, only to discover the last bag had been bought.
They had been purchased by that dude who had just walked by me as I washed my hands.
I suppose if I had skipped my habitual hand-washing session, then they would have been mine.
I couldn't be too upset at my friend, he noticed my disappointment and was really a quite thoughtful guy.
He reached into his bag of salty guacamole flavored goodness, pulled out a handful of those chips, and tried to hand them to me.
I said NO thanks because I knew the answer to this question,
“Did he really have clean hands?”
I have read the story of David. He is my favorite Old Testament character. There are many great things I could say about him, but I couldn’t say that he had clean hands.
David wasn’t all that righteous.
The failures of David were great, and the results of his bad decisions had national consequences.
So how could David say that he was righteous and had clean hands in these verses?
Psalm 18:20 The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
Psalm 18:24 Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.
How could he claim to be upright and to have kept himself from his iniquity?
Psalm 18:23 I was also upright before him, And I kept myself from mine iniquity.
Someone might say that he was talking about the specific ways he dealt with king Saul, which would certainly make sense considering the title of this Psalm.
Concerning Saul, David took the high road and didn’t take revenge when he had the opportunity.
It could also be said that David, whenever confronted with sin in his life, repented and changed direction.
Benjamin Franklin in the Poor Richard’s Almanac said, “Many Princes sin with David, but few repent with him”.
David sinned, sure, but he came to God for cleansing (see Ps 32 and Ps 51).
Don’t forget that David is the one who prayed Psalm 51:7,
Psalm 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
I believe both of these possibilities could provide an explanation for David’s speech in this part of the Psalm, he was both innocent of taking revenge against Saul, and he was made innocent of all his sins through God’s saving grace.
So how about us? How clean are our hands?
We should do our best to live right and do the right thing in every instance, but when we fail like David (and we will), we should repent and sprint to him for forgiveness and rest in the righteousness that Jesus has provided.
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous
My favorite part of the Psalm is verse 20,
Psalm 18:20 He brought me forth into a large place: he delivered me because he delighted in me.
No matter how dirty your hands, you can be made clean by Christ and confidently assured that the Father delights in you!
2021 Bible Reading Plan
February 1, 2021