1 Samuel 12:4-5 ‘You have not cheated or oppressed us,’ they replied. ‘You have not taken anything from anyone’s hand.’ Samuel said to them, ‘The Lord is witness against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.’‘ He is witness,’ they said.
As a child it was always important that you wash your hands before you eat. Children get into so many things during the day and the germs they accrue through touch can get in the food they chew. In the hospitals there are hand sanitizer throughout the hospital. Even though the hospital is a place to go get well, it is one of the places you can get sicker if you do not clean your hands.
In leadership it’s important to have clean hands and not clingy hands. There’s a trust that comes along with leadership. You have to make sure that you lead with clean hands.
The prophet Samuel was Israel’s leader since he was a little boy in the temple; now he is old and gray. Israel has asked for a new King and Samuel is retiring. He asks a question at his retirement party, “have I oppressed you or taken anything from you? Are my hands clean?” They replied, “There is nothing in your hands!”
What do you want people to say about you when you retire? What will be your legacy? What does it mean to have clean hands?
- Did I steal anything? One of the first things we teach our children is not to take anything that doesn’t belong to you. I’ll gotten treasures do not last.
- Do not touch anything unclean. God has rules as to what is Holy (clean) and what is sinful (unclean). But it’s really about our inward condition then it is what we touch. Matthew 15:1-2, 17-20 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, ‘Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!’ ‘Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts – murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.’
- Taking a bribe makes your hand dirty. Samuel said, “I have not taken money to make me shut my eyes to injustice.” So many politicians and pastors have been bought out. Politicians allow big corporations to pay them to vote for things that put their constituents in danger. Pastors close their mouths to sin or injustice because they don’t want to offend the tithers.
From the time he was a youth to the time he retired Samuel had kept his hands clean as a leader. Look at your hands right now. Are they clean? Where have your hands been?
Help me to keep my hands and my heart clean. Give me a clean heart so that I might serve you the right way. I want to be a person of integrity so at the end of my journey, after blessing so many other people, I will not be disqualified from entering your presence. Clean me up. Wash me so that I might be Holy. I want to be right. I want to be whole. I want my hands clean.
In Jesus Name,