Washed Pure White!
Eternal God, Alpha and Omega, my beginning and end, here I am in this time and place, ready to worship You.
Read Isaiah 4:2-6
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
These verses remind us of God’s constant presence on the journey to the Promised Land. Perhaps you need these great words of encouragement on your journey!
After the woeful description of ugly self-driven lives concluding in v. 1, the wonderful promise here is that when the Messiah comes, he will usher in not wealth or prestige or pretense, but holiness. Jesus called this beautifying process baptism by fire–because that is what purifying requires (Matt. 3:11). Isaiah applies it to both the individual and the community (5). Some interpret the “Branch” (2) as the coming Messiah; other commentators suggest it is the residents of Judah themselves who, in hope of their new future as fruit of the land, are called beautiful and glorious. Either way, the expectation is that Israel’s coming pride and glory is a cleansed and glorious Mount Zion and its people.
We have seen previously that Isaiah’s wedding and city imagery are both used in Revelation for the beauty of the redeemed church, but now the focus is on holiness. Recently, I attended a beautiful Masai wedding in bright sunshine with a handsome bridal couple. The bride’s hairdo must have taken hours to weave. Her husband was so proud as seven bridesmaids attended her, and her white dress shone in contrast to her dark skin. In recent years many Kenya brides have adopted the Western tradition of a white bridal dress–originally a symbol of holiness.
One day we will all be wearing the symbolic white (Rev. 7:9). Jesus’ gift of holiness is our entry to the Father’s presence. Just as the temple curtain, torn from top to bottom (Matt. 27:51), indicated that all people, including women and Gentiles, not just the high priest, could now have access to God, so Christ’s robe of holiness is offered to all. We can thank him daily for this privilege knowing that we are accepted in him, washed free of guilt and can enter his presence without shame.
Ask the Lord to apply to you the purifying work of the Holy Spirit. Confess any sins that surface in your consciousness. Resolve to keep short accounts with God.
Spirit of God, touch me with Your purifying presence so that I may be made clean and holy. Lord Jesus, Yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory.
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