“You shall slaughter the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear and on the lobes of his sons’ right ears and on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet, and sprinkle the rest of the blood around on the altar” ~ Exodus 29:20.
You knew we would get to this first, right? This verse along with many others in Exodus reveal to us that the hands that are not limp are consecrated for the worship of God and in the restoration of God’s people. Here we see that the ears, hands, and feet of the priests are anointed and consecrated to God for His use in leading the people in worship and restoration. Beloved, we too are priests unto God with a holy priesthood through Christ (1 Peter 2:9).
I have found more times than not that when I am ministering to a fellow believer who is struggling and down trodden, they are best lifted up when I express the glory of God over their situation, helping them refocus to see more clearly the One who can walk them out of their situations. When we focus on our struggles in life, we too often find our hearts in defeat and we fail to worship God with gratitude for Him. But when we refocus to see the one who is bigger than our life circumstances, worshiping Him for Who He is, hope abounds and help reaches us to empower us to press forward while waiting for the moving of His hand in our need.
As I read this passage, I note that not only are the hands anointed for the ministry of worship, but so are the ears and the feet and the altar. Our ears are anointed to listen for the wee small voice of God and His Spirit who empowers our worship and feeds us the words those we minister to need to hear. He instructs our hearts in the way we should go and in the changes we need to make in life as we listen for Him. Our feet are anointed, not only to go out in His Name to minister to others, but they are anointed to live life to the full and to press forward in life to His glory, even as happenstance leaves us wanting to lie down in our misery and hide from life.
The true worshiper that worships in Spirit and in truth not only speaks His glory, but is attentive to His voice and ready to press forward as His representative in life, putting feet and hands to work in the ministry of reconciliation. As I see the consecration of the altar in this passage, I see our lives, our very existence consecrated for sacrifice to God’s use as we take up our cross daily to follow Him.
Another picture in scripture of worshiping hands that are not limp is found in Nehemiah.
“Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen!’ while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground” ~ Nehemiah 8:6.
When situations in life are difficult, reaching to God in worship that is mindful of His glory, His presence, and His power, care, provision, protection, etc., empowers our hands with strength to persevere instead of letting our hands fall limp in despair. Hands not limp are filled with and used in the worship of God, knowing that the joy of the Lord is strength (vs. 10).
Psalm 26 instructs us concerning hands lifted and made strong in worship:
“I shall wash my hands in innocence, and I will go about Your altar, O LORD, that I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders ~ Psalm 26:6-7.
We are called by God to lift up holy hands in worship (1 Timothy 2:8). That means that in situations where we are tempted to be defeated and let our hands fall limp, evaluating our part in the situation and repenting any sin that put us there is vital. So also is the spirit of thanksgiving in the midst of our difficulties. Repentance and thankfulness are two vital aspects in worship
Thus, beloved, when difficulty comes, “Lift up your hands to the sanctuary (which is God) and bless the Lord” ~ Psalm 134:2 (author’s note). There you will find your help and strengthen your hands for the plow, being equipped to press forward to the glory of God and the fulfillment of His kingdom purpose (Luke 9:62).