put of the blood... upon the thumb of their right
hand" (Lev. 8:24).
"If thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it
off" (Matt. 5:30).
"Ye yourselves know that these hands ministered unto
my necessities" (Acts 20:34).
"We toil, working with our own hands" (1 Cor.
"Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let
him labour, working with his hands..." (Eph. 4:28).
Work Not Inconsistent with Spirituality
There is a
literal and there is a symbolic application of this word.
We can clearly see the literal side from the words of
Paul as to himself and in what he said to the Corinthians
and the Ephesians; and he said that in this matter he
gave them an example. It is something to note that this
one who was so very thorough-going in his adverse
handling of believers before his conversion, who
persecuted the Church and cast the believers into prison,
is now seen to be the one who has got his hands converted
as well as his heart, and is using his hands so
thoroughly for the good of the Church, on behalf of the
Lord's people. It is impressive that this servant of God
who, after the Lord Jesus, was surely the greatest of the
dispensation, did not cloister himself with his
knowledge, his revelation, and cut himself off from the
practical things of daily life, but went forth, and even
laboured with his hands in the gospel of the Lord Jesus.
convey its own message to our hearts, showing quite
clearly for one thing that, if such a man will do that
kind of thing, there is a dignity about the menial tasks
of the daily round with which the hands are occupied. All
can be lifted on to the very high level of a true
spiritual ministry. That is very simple.
Hands Full for the Lord
represents of course a definite act of consecration. Just
as with Aaron and his sons the right hand was definitely
and precisely touched with the blood, implying that what
the hand represented was now consecrated to the Lord;
that is, all the activities of life were for the Lord by
a definite and precise act of consecration; so Paul says
"Present your members...", "Present your
bodies..." (Romans 6:19; 12:1). It is something
deliberately done - the whole of our bodies, represented
by the right hand, are placed on that physical, active,
practical basis of service to the Lord. It is to be
remembered that the very word 'consecrate' means to fill
the hands and there is no doubt about it that Paul's
hands were full; they were consecrated hands in that
sense; they were full for the Lord.
Express Inner Disposition
leads to the symbolic significance of hands in the Word
of God. They are the symbols of the person. How often we
can discern and recognize the hidden personality by a
gesture! Very often the whole of the inner life is
betrayed thereby. You know what is going on inside, what
is being felt and thought, by a gesture of the hands. We
need not follow that very closely, but it is quite true.
The hand is a symbol of the inner person. And in the
Scriptures, it is always taken as signifying whether a
person is diligent or otherwise. We speak of willing
hands, but what we really mean is that the hands are the
exhibition of an inner willingness. Unwilling hands
reveal that there is lacking inwardly a diligence, a
willingness. The kind of hands reveals the state inside;
it is the spirit of the person. So when the Lord says,
"If thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it
off," He is not speaking literally at all: it is
symbolic language. You do not do any moral good to
yourself by cutting off a hand literally. You do not
change your disposition. The cause of stumbling is what
prompts your hand to act, what lies behind the hand. To
cut off the hand really means to get behind the hand to
what was the cause of the act, and to deal with that. You
can run through the Scriptures and see how much there is
everywhere about the using of hands as indicating the
state of the life within.
at the Lord Jesus. Just run your eye over the Gospel by
Mark, having in mind the hands of Jesus, and see His
hands actually at work. You know 'Mark' is the Gospel of
the Servant, and here He is, everywhere and continuously
using His hands in His ministry, signifying that here is
the true servant spirit; eager, consecrated hands full,
showing something of the Spirit that is in Him.
case, and in the case of Paul, you find that the hands
are the symbols of the spirit of service, and, indeed, of
an overflow of that spirit, for there is never any need
to point out to them that something should be done, that
something is called for; they are at it day and night.
Such is the spirit that is in them.
to be Done as Unto the Lord
Lord says, Let the Blood be upon your hand - that is,
separating it from all work that is unworthy of the Lord,
all that belongs to self-interest, and separating it,
consecrating it to God that it shall be a hand full for
HIM. Remember that Paul used his hands in making tents
for the support of himself and of those who were with
him, and to spare the saints embarrassment. My point is
this, that Paul would never have said, 'Oh, to serve the
Lord you must, of course, regard all that sort of thing
as belonging to another realm; making tents, washing
dishes, cleaning floors, digging gardens, that is not the
spiritual realm; if you are going to serve the Lord, you
must have your Bible in your hand all the time and be
talking.' No, Paul would not allow that division. He
recognized the tremendous importance of making everything
the opportunity for spiritual purposes, and he saw that
ordinary, daily work could be a channel, a vehicle, of
serving the Lord. So may the Lord have our hands in this
sense - that He has in us a spirit of unreserved
abandonment to His interests along any line in which He
can be served.
thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might"
"WHATSOEVER YE DO, do all to the glory of God"
(1 Cor. 10:31).
"WHATSOEVER YE DO, in word or in deed, do all in the
name of the Lord Jesus" (Col. 3:17).
"WHATSOEVER YE DO, work heartily, as unto the
Lord" (Col. 3:23).