God Will Not Hear Murderers

“And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood” (Isa 1:15).

For years now, the psychologists have talked about body language – the gestures, postures, and facial expressions by which a person communicates nonverbally with others. The intent (whether conscious or not) is to communicate basic needs. Even some animals may crouch or fawn at the feet of the one from whom it seeks favor. The expression “Ye spread forth your hands…” has to do with our body language in the act of prayer. In the Old Testament scripture, we see examples of this (Exod 9:29; 1 Kings 8:22, 54; Ezra 9:5; Ps 134:2). While God says to some, “I will hide mine eyes,” or “I will not regard your supplications,” to others He says He will “hear.”  Is it the body language that is repulsive to God or the heart behind the action (Zech 7:12-13; Ps 66:18)?

The reason given for God not hearing their supplication was that their “hands are full of blood” (Isa 1:15). The mental picture we are given is of hands dripping blood, with the stain being proof of their guilt. Whether this terminology is figurative or literal, the people were given over to sin. Because they had indulged in sin and came with a determination still to do it, God would not hear them. “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination” (Pro 28:9; Pro 15:8; Jer 16:10-12; Zech 7:11-12; Pro 1:28-33). This is the stated reason why the prayers of sinners are not heard; however, we read in many other scriptures that if sinners will forsake their sins, the magnitude of their sin is no obstacle to forgiveness (Isa 1:18-19; Matt 11:28-30; Acts 3:19).

What is the obvious attitude of people today who say, “Everyone sins and we all know we can never stop sinning?”

What does that statement say to the world and to God? Do they have any intention of washing their hands in innocence or lifting up holy hands to God (1 Tim 2:8)? Will God hear their prayers?

Jesus made a very timely application of this principle in His Sermon on the Mount. He said plainly that anyone who hated his brother was a murderer (Matt 5:22). Even those who have called another person a fool are in danger of hell fire. What are we to do? How can we wash this “blood” from our hands so that our prayers will be heard?

“Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matt 5:24).

We must have a determination to stop sinning and get the shield of faith (Eph 6:16-17) which God has promised to everyone who has that new mind (Gal 6:14; Rom 6:6). Then our prayers will be heard (Luke 13:24-28).

Beth Johnson


All Scripture is taken from the NKJ Version.  Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson,Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Published in The Old Paths Archive