27 At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres. 28 The musicians also were brought together from the region around Jerusalem – from the villages of the Netophathites, 29 from Beth Gilgal, and from the area of Geba and Azmaveth, for the musicians had built villages for themselves around Jerusalem. 30 When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people, the gates and the wall.“NIV

Just because you have the singers and musicians in place, and you’re starting to make a good sound, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re offering God acceptable worship. As Matt Redman observed in one of his songs, the Lord looks for more than a song, for a song in itself is not what He requires. He searches much deeper within, looking into the heart. He wants not merely the praise of lips, but that of lives devoted to Him (30).

Am I saying we can’t worship God unless we are totally pure? Of course not. If that were the case then who could worship Him? But intrinsic to genuine worship is the desire to please God in every way. It is incongruous to think that anyone would deliberately go and play in the mud and then come to His table with unwashed hands. Thank God, on-going cleansing is available through Jesus’ blood.

‘’Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure’’ (1 John 3:3)