I am not one to just go digging in dirt. When working in flowerbeds, I like to use gloves. I don't like to get mud and dirt all over my hands. When my hands get dirty, I can literally feel the soil drying on my hands. I can feel dust and flour and anything sticky. It drives me crazy. I have to wash my hands several times a day. But my boys? Boys are dirt magnets. My youngest son can get dirty from head to toe in a matter of minutes. Though I can feel dirt drying on my hands, my youngest can have a mound of dirt on him and never feel a thing. He sits down at the dinner table and Daddy always asks, "Did you wash your hands?"
As my son holds up his hands for inspection, the grime glares. I am left wondering, did you really have to look at your hands to know that they had enough dirt on them to bury a full-sized car? Of course, he is told to get up and go wash his hands before sitting down to eat.
Psalm 18:20 "The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me."
David hated dirty hands, too. He loved righteousness. This isn't talking about him having his own righteousness for salvation. None of us have that!
Romans 3:10 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:"
That kind of righteousness is imputed to us at salvation. We receive the righteousness of Christ.
The righteousness David is talking about isn't salvation righteousness. This righteousness is daily right living. This righteousness is keeping his hands out of the muck of sin and following God's Word. This righteousness is the daily separation and pure walk. He did a hand inspection in the middle of his trial and found that his hands were clean. This trail he faced was not the results of sin.
When we face a trial, it is wise for us to do a hand inspection. Sometimes our trials are a result of sin and living contrary to God's Word. For example, imagine a couple facing a financial struggle. They call out to God for help, but it seems He isn't hearing. They sit down with their pastor for counsel. The pastor starts asking some tough questions to help them do a hand inspection. He asks them about how they spend their money, if they budget, if they tithe faithfully, and if they are wise stewards with their finances. As the inspection continues, they realize that the majority of the financial struggle was caused by unwise choices, including forsaking tithing and foolish purchases.
They were expecting God to be their rock, fortress, and deliverer while having dirty hands.
Psalm 18:24-26 "Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward."
God deals with His children according to the cleanness of their hands.
Here's some good news. If you do a hand inspection and find you have dirty hands in your trial, God shows us how to wash our hands. It is inevitable at times that we will find we have dirty hands. David also had times when he realized his hands were dirty. (Psalm 51) When we find we have our hands dirtied by sin, here is how we wash them:
1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Proverbs 28:13 "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."
Are you facing a trial? Take a moment to inspect your hands using the Word of God as your magnifying glass. If you find you have clean hands, then trust that God will deal with you accordingly. If you find your hands are dirty repent, confess, and forsake the sin. Wash your hands in His forgiveness.