Some say there are two kinds of jobs: the kind where you wash before work and the kind where you wash after. In ancient Israel, the men presenting sacrifices to the Lord of Hosts had both.

“The man who gathers up the ashes of the heifer must also wash his clothes, and he too will be unclean till evening. This will be a lasting ordinance both for the Israelites and for the foreigners residing among them” (Numbers 19:10).

Shoveling cremated cattle remains in a hot, dusty desert must have been a miserably filthy job. But the man tasked with it had to be ritually purified beforehand (Numbers 19:9). He had to get clean before he got dirty.

God has commanded Christians to serve people, preach the gospel, and get their hands dirty among those in need of His redemption. But just as the ash-gatherer underwent purification to prepare for his work, you too must be cleansed to prepare you to act as Christ’s ambassador. Accept His grace. Follow His commands. Spend time in prayer and in His Word, and your dirty hands can work miracles in this broken world.

Prayer Suggestion: Lord, show me situations where I need to get my hands dirty.

Quicklook: Numbers 19:7–10

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