Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Isaiah 1:16 -- On Being Clean

"Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;"
Isaiah 1:16

I wonder if our lives would be different if we thought of sin the way we do body odor or dirt... after a few days, we start to stink, and we get all itchy.  If we get something really dirty or smelly or gross on us, we usually want to wash it off right away, especially before we eat.  God asks us to be clean, but clearly the cleanliness he is talking about here isn't physical cleanliness (although of course, that is also a good idea).  It's being spiritually clean from evil.  And that idea, that sin makes us dirty, is a powerful one, and I think a valid one.  We can't always see what it is doing to our souls, but God surely can, and he asks us to not make him look at it.  In the next verse he asks us to learn to do some good things too.  He wants to work with us.  He wants us to be clean and pure and not itchy and smelly from sin.
God isn't asking us to do this for his benefit, although he of course doesn't want to see us destroying ourselves.  When our parents teach us to bathe and shower and wash behind our ears, they aren't doing it just for their sakes so they don't have to smell us. :)  They are teaching us habits that are going to help us long term, so that we don't lose opportunities or jobs or dates, or whatever, because of poor personal hygiene.  And God is doing the same thing... he is teaching us habits that will help us not lose out on spiritual opportunities, or callings, or dates. :)  He is helping us learn to be ready for everything now and in eternity that we won't be ready for if we aren't clean.  Today, let's take our cleanliness seriously, and not lose out because we're itchy and smelly and don't even want to be around ourselves... physically or spiritually.

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