"'I'll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I'll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I'll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that's God-willed, not self-willed. I'll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You'll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You'll be my people! I'll be your God!'" Ezekiel 36:25-28(MSG)
Here's a question--when you sin, do you feel dirty? Do you wish you could just wash the bad away? That if you wash hard enough, if you use enough soap, that you will be finally clean?
I remember when I was young and I would lie. When my mother would catch me in it, (which was every time because I was not a smart liar), I would have to have my mouth washed out with soap. It was horrible! To this day, I can't really stand to use a bar of Ivory soap without thinking of my past sin.
You see, my mother was trying to keep me from enjoying my sin. She was trying to keep me clean, so she made the aftermath of it distasteful--and boy it did! And so that is what the Lord was saying to the Israelites--to us. That He is there to wash us clean. He wants to bring us home to Him, wash off all the sin and dirt that we have committed and gathered along life's path and wash it completely away.
Why? Because if He kept it there, if He ignored it, He couldn't stand being next to us. Our sin would start stinking so much that no amount of Fabreeze would be able to make Him bear to be close to us.
Sometimes He may be able to do it gently, caressing the past away with soft, little strokes, warm soapy water and a scrunchy. Other times He may have to use a firmer technique--like a Brillo pad--to make sure that the sin doesn't ever come back.
For you see, God is free to judge and He is equally free to be gracious. His stern judgements on us ultimately reflects His grace. Sometimes He allows us to get really dirty, so dirty that we are just overwhelmed by it--so that He can give us a renewed life, a changed heart and spirit. Then His presence in us will be seen clearly as a blessed gift.
God is the ultimate Father. And He loves us enough not to let us stay in our own filth. It may hurt us when He has to help us deal with it--but you know what? I feel blessed to know that He does love me that much. How about you?
Do you need a bath? Go to your Heavenly Father. He has the water running.