Have you ever been so filthy that you had to take your clothes off before you went into the house? Well, I remember playing sandlot football in the mud, and I was so filthy that my mother made me disrobe at the door. Now that’s really filthy!
In Isaiah 64:6, Isaiah says, “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment…”
When I think of garments that are filthy, I think of a man I knew in Orlando, Florida. He was a street person, but on occasion he would come to church on Sunday morning. He wasn’t panhandling, and he didn’t cause any trouble. But he really stunk, and people didn’t like to sit by him. He never took a bath, and he never changed his clothes – they were filthy. The people of our church were kind to him, but it was a real challenge to be near him because he smelled so bad. Now that’s God’s analysis of our situation. He says that even our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment. We’re like that street person – we’re repulsive to God.
Actually, the word “filthy” is a Hebrew word that means “to cover, or to put on.” But in the plural (as in this verse), it is used to refer to menstrual cloths used by the women during their menstrual cycle. God is, in effect, saying that even our righteous deeds are like a garment, stained with menstruous discharge.
Listen. We may put on airs and think we’re pretty good, but the Bible is clear in telling us that even the good things about us are really disgusting. The good news, however, is that Christ took all our filthy garments, and washed them white as snow.
Hey – from one street person to another, let me tell you where you can get clean clothes. Come to Jesus – that’s where!