Stepping out of the shower, clean water still dripping off. Taking warm clothes out of the dryer. Brushing my teeth and running my tongue over my smooth pearly whites. Drinking cool, purified water.
I love the feeling of being clean.
White clothes. Wet dirt and damp sidewalks, raindrops on my windshield. Taking apart and washing out my vacuum.
I love the newness, the rebirth that clean brings.
Kind of like how God likes clean.
[Caveat: I do not have the same fierceness and desire for cleanliness and purity that God does. But I want to!]
What kind of offerings did God request in the Old Testament?
— “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” Genesis 8:20 (ESV)
In Leviticus, 59 verses have the word clean in them. Here’s just one…
–“You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statues that the Lord has spoken to them by Moses.” Leviticus 10:10-11 (ESV)
God knows, and God sees, our cleanness (or lack thereof).
–“And the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight.” 2 Samuel 22:25 (ESV)
Neither man nor woman can make something clean. On our own, we cannot create anything pleasing to the Lord, or clean in His sight.
–“Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one.” Job 14:4 (ESV)
“The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
the rulesof the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.”
Not only can I not create anything clean, I cannot make myself clean. At least not my heart, which is what the Lord looks at (1 Samuel 16:7) and cares about.
“Who can say, ‘I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin’?” Proverbs 20:9 (ESV)
The Lord is in the business of making things clean. Not only does he make beautiful things out of dust and saints out of sinners, but he takes dirt and filth and makes it clean.
Black to white.
Unrighteousness to righteousness.
Wicked to holy.
Old to new.
It is right that I should like clean. I like a clean house and a clean body, but more importantly, I like a clean heart.
Sometimes the cleaning process is not fun. It’s gross and time-intensive and frustrating and sometimes even embarrassing for someone to see how dirty you are. But it is good. Very very good.
Because from that mess He makes something that pleases Him, something that glorifies Him and honors Him. As a follower of Jesus, isn’t that what I should want?