Reading: Psalm 18
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
For I have kept the ways of the LORD;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin.
The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight (NIV).
Ottawa River tranquility — photo by David Kitz
In the previous reading, David depicted the LORD as riding the wings of the wind on a thunderstorm to rescue him from his enemies. In this portion of Psalm 18, the enemy is routed and David is rescued. In triumph David declares, “They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
David then goes on to assert the reason why he believes the LORD did not allow him to perish at the hands of his mortal enemies. Twice he makes this claim, “The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.”
Why were clean hands so important in David’s ultimate victory? Why are clean hands so important to the LORD? Twice when David had the opportunity to cut down his enemies—the enemies who were in pursuit to kill him—David kept his hands clean. When the opportunity arose, David refused to kill jealous King Saul despite the urging of the men who were with him. He attempted reconciliation with the enemy who sought his life. See 1 Samuel 24. That takes courage and conviction.
Sometimes it takes more courage to hold your fire than press your advantage. It takes a godly conviction that God is keeping score, and He will reward the man with a clean heart and clean hands. That takes faith—faith in the unseen hand of God at work in the affairs of men. David had that kind of faith.
How about you? Are your hands clean? Are you trusting in the LORD or settling accounts your way? Faith in God calls us to a higher standard.
Response: LORD, I want clean hands and a pure heart before you. I put my trust in you. You reward those who diligently seek you. Jesus, wash me clean. I put my faith in you. Amen.
Your Turn: Does God always reward those with clean hands? How do you keep your hands clean?