Unclean doesn’t really have a meaning in our culture. With almost perfect sanitation services, everything can be very clean in our culture. The picture that Isaiah paints for us isn’t a pretty one. It’s the picture of our soul. It’s one that we see of ourselves reflected in God’s law. In verses 6 and 7 Isaiah gives us four pictures. Unclean is just the first one.
Unclean – think of yourself like a leper with fingers and toes falling off; you’re someone who is not fit to stand before a Holy God. We might think, “I’m not all bad. I try to help people.” Do you know what God thinks of the good things you do to try and make him happy? They’re filthy rags. Don’t think of changing the oil on your car – the word is a used menstrual rag. When you look at Mother Teresa or someone one who does so much good – I cannot judge her heart – but if she did all those things because she thought that God might love her more because of them – those righteous acts are sickening to him. Do you know what we are as we stand before God in our sin? We are dried leaves blowing from yard to yard until sucker truck comes and takes us away. Finally the prophet compares us to a candle burning in sin that just melts down to nothing – wasting away slowly from the heat.
This is what Isaiah saw among his people – he lumps himself in with them. Oh, how he longed to remember when God stepped in to rescue his people, but all he could remember was his sin. Is that where you are? #1 it doesn’t matter if your tree is up, Christmas spirit – who cares, you don’t need to have one present purchased, wrapped, and under the tree. Yet God steps in to say, “Remember your Savior.”
Want to hear more, including how God is our Father who molds us like clay into the people that he wants us to be? Watch this week’s message taken from Isaiah 64, the first in our Advent series Christians in Crisis.
Tag(s): Advent, Unrepentance, Work Righteousness
Speaker(s): Fred Guldberg