And Aaron and his sons you shall bring to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and you shall wash them with water. (Exodus 29:4)
On the day the priests were consecrated, and on every day they entered the sanctuary, the priests had to be ceremonially washed before they could “draw near” unto God. On one hand this was a practical thing to do — dust and dirt were a common thing to contend with in that time, especially in a desert setting. But it also served to make a point spiritually; it is important to rinse the the residue of this world from us before we enter into the Presence of the Holy One. It thus reminds us of what is indicated in the Psalm:
“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.” (Psalm 24:3-4)
Clean hands is to suggest that, not only is the dust of this world removed, but that the hands that serve God are not guilty of wicked and deceitful deeds. Our hands should be empty of guilty and open to serving our Creator without reservation. That we are to have a pure heart needs no elaboration, nevertheless, the Hebrew word used here is interesting. The word translated as “pure” is בר bar which can also mean “son.” The inference is that those who are allowed to approach God and stand in His Sanctuary are those whose hands have been cleansed of unrighteousness and who have the heart of a son (or daughter). They not only see and conduct themselves as servants but as the children of God. Consequently, they are happy to attend to His house and to His people.
It is a wonderful thing to realize that the God of all things sees us as His children, and because He does, He invites us to enter into His House. For our part, it is our responsibility to respect His House, and by that I mean, we are to conduct ourselves in a way that is befitting those who are regarded as His children and His priests. Wherever we are we are His ambassadors and representatives, therefore, let us continue in that serve with clean hands and a pure heart.
Blessings and Shalom,