Isaiah 64:6

Isaiah 64:6

June 29, 2020 – Monday                                     

Isaiah 64:6   NIV

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
  we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Isaiah 64:6   AKJV

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      

Comment

I’m sure most of us have heard the phrase all our righteous acts are like filthy rags at one time or another, but we have seldom if ever taken a look at it in context. Let’s do that now in the NIV

As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make Your name known to Your enemies
and cause the nations to quake before You!
For when You did awesome things that we did not expect, You came down, and the mountains trembled before You.
Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.
You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember Your ways.
But when we continued to sin against them, You were angry. How then can we be saved?
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; 
we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
No one calls on Your name or strives to lay hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us and have given us over to our sins.

Did you catch that in verse five You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember Your ways. But us what did we do at that time (still in verse five)? But when we continued to sin against them, You were angry. How then can we be saved?  We sinned and continued to sin against those who gladly do right, who remember Your ways. The result of that is what we have heard in the past from verse six All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.

Whatever righteousness acts we might have, because of the way we treat those who gladly do right, who remember Your ways those acts, they are like filthy rags. This is especially true if every time we do something good, something we consider righteous, we find a way to file that act into our memory where we compile a list of all of our good deeds. We probably look at them every so often and congratulate ourselves with accolades about just how incredibly righteous we can be.                                                                                                                         

Why is this so? It’s because it is God who knows our hearts who is keeping the real and the valid list of our acts – righteous and unrighteous. Especially acts toward those who gladly do right, who remember Your ways. Consider Hebrews 6:10 where we read God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. Jesus was even more explicit when He said in Matthew 25:40 Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me. Who are the least of these? They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Believers in need from missionaries, teachers, preachers, those facing persecution, to those sitting in the pews next to us who are also in need. It’s easy to know the need of many of these, but not so much the brother or sister sitting in the pews next to or near us. To know their need we would have to know them, speak with them, listen to them.

Then what will we do? Whatever we do, Jesus and His Father are taking notice. Sometimes it is simply to give our time, to listen. Sometimes it is more. The key is to do for them and not be focused on ourselves, keeping a list to share with others. The only list that counts is the one that Jesus and His Father are compiling. We should feel honored that They would use us to do something, anything for the least of the brothers and sisters that make us His church.

RileyD, nwJ
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton
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