DEAD MAN WALKING.
Suppose that you were a soccer player and your coach told you that you were invited to a big soccer event tomorrow with all the best soccer players in the city.
You get dressed the next day in your soccer shorts, shirt, socks, and cleats. Your clothes are stained with the mud and blood of many tough games, and you wear that ragged, dirt-spattered uniform with pride.
You go to the sports complex, just like your coach told you, but the fields are empty. Then you notice some lights shining in the field house in the middle of the complex. You jog over, open the door, and step in.
Suddenly you're in the field house, and you blink your eyes in disbelief as you see some of your teammates and opponents dressed up, in clean, fancy clothes. It's then you realize that you misunderstood your coach: It's not a game, it's a banquet! You look down at the outfit you put on not long ago with such pride; it's wrinkled and dirty compared to what everyone else is wearing. You're wearing the same clothes you've worn dozens of times around these people. Although you didn't feel dirty during those times, you feel dirty here.
Well, magnify that feeling about a bazillion times, and you know a little bit of how a prophet named Isaiah felt when he had a vision of God in the temple in Jerusalem. Isaiah saw God sitting on a throne, wearing a kingly robe. He saw God's angels flying around calling to each other. He felt the whole room shake, and the place started filling with smoke.
How did Isaiah react? Did he smile and wave at God? No.
Isaiah suddenly became aware that he was dirty compared to God. He saw God in his holiness and purity and said something like, "Oh, man, I'm done for! I'm a dead man! I'm a filthy, sinful man, and I'm standing in the presence of the King, the Lord, who is pure and holy!"
That's not the end of the story, of course, but the point is this: Isaiah saw God and immediately became aware of his own impurity. Why? Because God is pure. He is purely pure. There is nothing impure about him.
That's why God values purity and commands us to be pure. That's why purity is right because God is pure.
REFLECT: Isaiah had to go to the temple to learn about God's purity; we can do it simply by reading God's Word. Why does God command purity? Why does God value purity? Why is purity right? How did the angel of God purify Isaiah? Do you think God can purify you? If so, how?
PRAY: "God, I know that you are pure and I'm not. But I know you can make me pure by forgiving my sins and helping me to obey you every day. Please help me to stay pure in everything I think, say, or do."