Exodus 30:17-21 NKJV
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the Lord, they shall wash with water, lest they die. So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them—to him and his descendants throughout their generations.”
Foot washing was a common tradition in the world where dusty roads were the norm. Hand washing was common in the past and still is normal for sanitary reasons. Hand washing was and currently is also a ceremonial procedure for religious purposes in some cultures. The hand washing for Aaron and his sons may have been for cleanliness, but it would have been primarily for spiritual reasons. The consequence of their failing to do this procedure was severe. The judgment could be death. The main spiritual component was obedience to the command of God.
Spiritual parallel: Our hands represent our assignments, jobs, gifts and talents, etc. It represents what we do on a regular basis.
Ecclesiastes 2:11a NKJV: Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled;
Ecclesiastes 9:10 NKJV: Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
Deuteronomy 28:12a NKJV: The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand.
Ephesians 4:28 NKJV: Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 NKJV: that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,
God wants our hands to be clean – washed with the water of the Word and the water of the Spirit. All we do must honor Him. We are laborers with God in a joint venture with the same goals.
1 Corinthians 3:9 Amplified Version Classic Edition: For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God’s building.
Since God is the leader, we want to make sure we are not usurping His authority and making decisions apart from Him. He has given us the ability to make choices, but we should not make decisions that are contrary to His plan. Therefore, we must wash our hands with the Word and always be aware that what we are doing must line up with scripture. Then we must lift up our hands to the Holy Spirit, allowing the water of the spirit to soak them so that we only move with His approval. Our desire should be to keep our hands clean in whatever we do, but especially in what we do in ministry.