Bible In One Year-Day 305 (Friday, November 01, 2013)
Commentary: Isaiah64-66.Our working text in rounding up the book of Isaiah is Isa64:6.
Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
This passage describes the condition of man in four ways and these are right from the Garden of Eden.
- Our condition is described in the likeness of unclean thing; this refers to filthiness, dirtiness and not fit for use. This is why it was not possible for any man to be used as sacrifice for the remission of our sin; not even Isaac was qualified or fit for it.
- Though we do some righteous work in one sense, because it is done by an unclean thing, it is still not pure but quite dirty. The motive behind our actions is, in most cases, the problem we have before God. Jesus says “no one is good …” A rag is a piece of clothing not descent to wear because it is torn; it cannot cover up our nakedness because it has lost its relevance and value. It becomes totally useless if it is filthy; this means it cannot be touched because of the stink that comes off it. Again not qualified to clean off dirt; Isaac was not qualified, again, in this wise.
- “fade as a leaf” Leaves fade when they no longer receive sufficient supplies of nutrients. They lose their greenness and take another color and once this happens, they lose the ability to manufacture food even when the sun shines. This condition is a sick condition. When Adam and Eve fell, they lost the glory that earned them respects from animals; this glory shields animals from attacking them. Because of this, they tried to cover themselves with leaves in place of the lost glory. But the leaves were just like rags that couldn’t cover them. This was why they ran hiding from God’s appearance. Nakedness is a sinful condition; this is a sick condition. And man is always trying to cover their sins. It was a right thing for them to cover their nakedness; unfortunately, they opted for rags of leaves which had no life in it. The self-righteousness of man is absolutely lifeless to give security and filthy before the glory of God.
- “iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” Sin is as fierce as the whirlwind that blows us far away from experiencing the joy in God’s presence. The moment Adam and Eve were driven out of the glorious Garden of Eden, they became vagabonds on earth, full of sorrows and grief. This is the condition of man on earth. Prayers are not close to where God is anymore because of the source of the prayers; unclean vessel. Man couldn’t find God any longer to be near. Since he was removed from the presence of God, man lost the best of joy ever.
It is good for us to read Isaiah59 very well. Just as the chapter says, man’s thoughts, actions, heart and the general nature of man has become filthy and unfit for God’s presence and for use. It is disheartening to realize that man became faded leaf (sick) and consequently took the nature of the serpent after losing God’s glory which made him to be like God.
Isaiah 59:4-5 “… they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.”
A viper’s egg will definitely hatch viper. If they hatch viper’s egg and it breaks out into a viper, they have taken the nature of a viper. Here, man needs redemption from this shameful nature and needs to be saved from damnation. No wonder Jesus called the Pharisees “generation of vipers” (Matthew 23:33 “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”)
Satan is the viper that struck man with its venom which changed the nature of man. Sinning sinners are those who take after the nature viper.
1 John 3:8 “He that committeth sin is of the demon; for the demon sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the demon.”
Because of the condition of man, Jesus came to make things right; to reconcile us with God and restore us to the original nature. Our self-righteousness is not good enough to cover us. We lost the glory and life because sin has alienated us from God and therefore, we die gradually as a fading leaf. Christ’a purpose is to come into us as life in the dying body.
Colossians 1:27 “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”
When Christ fills you, you are reconciled with God and the glory is restored. Receiving Him makes Him to be your righteousness which is acceptable before God. When you receive His word and do them, then He has become your righteousness.
Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.”
The receiving of Christ as Lord and Savior is the first step to enjoying God and this becomes the foundation of any righteous work towards God.
Jeremiah 51:10 “The LORD hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God.”
Only Jesus can be the righteous righteousness that God honors, not our works. This is grace.
Let us seek for the old path where we could find rest. Let us listen to the trumpet’s sound, wherewith we could escape the calamity to come. We are moving to the New Testament to read about Christ and grace. Today’s reading is John1-4. Keep the fire of burning and alive.
Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries