I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.
Psalm 119:48 ESV
Hands raised in worship.
I have been part of it when a song strikes a chord in my soul. the action of lifting my hands in worship acknowledges a longing for my whole being participate with a heart that is lifted to the throne room of God. You, Lord, have done great things is usually the reason for my hands to reach out in a worship service.
Other images come to mind when considering “lifting up my hands”. Hands over our heads can be a sign of surrender. We raise our right hand and swear we will tell the whole truth, while volunteers show their eagerness to serve with hand stretched high. Hands thrown upward can also be a sign we’ve simply had enough of how something is going.
But when we look at the Hebrew word for hand—kalf— in the Psalm 119 verse above, we see something else. It describes the palm or hollow of the hand. The hollow of the hand is made for scooping, holding, or carrying things. Combined with the word nasa’— I shall lift up—it gives the idea of picking something up and carrying it in your hand.
Now, doesn’t that give us a different picture?
We lift our hands to receive from God who is the Giver of good gifts. His Word certainly qualifies as one of those good gifts. In receiving it, we can move on to touching it and allowing it to touch us.
Let’s not stop there. Our hands can do so much. How about cradling the word as you would do something precious? Grasping it as in never letting go, and sometimes even hanging on for dear life. Feeling it as you would when gliding your hand over something of beauty, feeling its texture. All these actions further expand my view of my hands coming in contact with God’s Word.
I pray that I follow the Psalmist’s actions. . .
and continue to reach out towards the very thing that allows me to know God and His ways. When my hands are full of His words, they are always at my fingertips to be used in my actions or offered to others who seek to know God, too. What better way is there to live than having one’s hands full of God’s precious words?
So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
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