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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Graphic Idea


In Denbigh's sermon on Sunday, he inserted a verse to add to a point he was making. That verse was from Isaiah 64:6. Specifically, the portion that says our righteous acts are like filthy rags. He was politely trying to share what the "dirty rags" were in the original language, but he didn't come right out and say it. You may know that this word is referring to menstrual rags. I have always thought this was quite an intense idea. I could totally see where God was saying how dirty our acts were apart from Him and compared to Him. I had another thought on Sunday though. I wondered if the analogy went deeper than that. I really thought about the blood for a second. What if He was trying to tell us that our righteous acts are worthless blood. Our old blood can do nothing but contaminate. Compare that to the blood of Christ which has the power to restore and make fully clean. What do you think?

3 comments:

Darlene said...

WARNING: GRAPHIC and blunt alert. It's something that I had connected with the ban on sex during the cycle. I prayed about why that would be a problem, what picture of God's love for his bride did it violate? This verse from Isaiah was connected for me. The idea is that our works with out faith are like that blood because that blood is dead. It is not life giving, it is waste. It is fruitless. But when we are intimate with God, that connection is life giving and nothing is wasted. When menstrual blood is involved in the most intimate act between man and wife, which is supposed to reflect the intimacy between God and His bride, the act does not reflect the life giving and creative results of the reality in our intimacy with Jesus. In fact, when we approach God that way, in our works and with out faith, it is reflected by the act that is prohibited. All of the blood that we have to offer is dead and worthless. Instead, our heavenly bridegroom supplies His own blood as an atonement. It is the blood of His life that gives us life.

When we use our works to establish intimacy with God instead of living in faith and obedience to the Spirit, it is as nasty as the dead, left over, useless blood from the monthly cycle.

Just some thoughts. I'm not sure they make a lot of sense outside of my head. LOL

Stephanie Cherry said...

I think this is very interesting and goes right along with the thought I had. Thanks for sharing.

danielle said...

Wonderful insight.
The reference in that passage has always intrigued me.
First I look back to the social time in which it was written. The culture then had different view on women than we experience today. Not only was the rag thought of as dirty but in some of the cultures the woman herself was banished from her home until she became "clean". But, I think the analogy is timeless. Successful reproduction (being "fruitful")was not only celebrated but, was expected. The common view in many cultures was that if a woman miscarried, could not conceive or mother or child died during or because of the birthing process it was looked upon as a curse. There must have been evil at work the woman must have great sin! We know now that all those unfortunate biological things happen as a natural occurrence in which God has created - not because the woman is a witch. And we, as God's creation must accept and find solace in His presence and know that we are under His care and direction ("...for I know the plans I have for you..." - Jeremiah 29:11) .
The timeless part...
The menses is a direct result of the body shedding a preparation for pregnancy that did not happen. You know ladies! The preparation for life. The body gets all worked up for 3 whole weeks (in most cases) preparing for it's part in creating a beautiful miracle - that lovely new life! Then it's like it gets all angry up in there if a pregnancy doesn't happen or is "unsuccessful" and it just lets go of all that hard work and resources and pushes it out the door with attitude!
It was all a waste of time and resources when it could have been useful. Now the body has to get rid of it or it will contaminate the body.
I also like the dry crumbly leaf comparison with sin being the wind.
Nice.
Read the passage in context. The writers were begging God. Almost in a "woe is me" kind of way:-(. They were once in awe of the Majesty of God and his goodness toward those with "faith" (verse4-5). But, they consistently made the choice to continue in sin. Ungrateful and selfish. No "good deeds" can make up for their bad choices. It is like being 2-faced - saying one thing and doing another. Therefore becoming a "waste".
Imagine... how you would think of someone ie... Adolf Hitler, going about his usual business of mass murder and persecution. All the meanwhile he is feeding the poor old folks and orphans, raising money to cure cancer, saving the forests etc...
A dirty rag? A crispy leaf in the wind of sin? Oh yes.
But read on to the next chapter....
it is
"Terribly Interesting"
An insight to the coming of Christ or the end of times? Oh, but that is another topic of discussion :-)

(I also read that the rags analogy can be compared to the leper's clothing. The disease contaminated clothing with not only the gross from the skin lesions, but the literal dirt from being banished and unable to care for oneself as well as if they were healthy.

I love this kind of open study into the Word. Thanks Steph. Your post has intrigued me and brought a freshness to my day.
Well, it seems I have written more of a blog than a comment - ugh.