Worship with a Real Stench

Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil.

—Isaiah 1:16

Let us suppose we are back in the old days of the high priest, who took incense into the sanctum and went behind the veil and offered it there. And let us suppose that rubber—the worst-smelling thing I can think of when it burns—had been available in those days. Let us suppose that chips of rubber had been mixed with the incense, so that instead of the pure smoke of the spices filling the temple with sweet perfume, there had been the black, angry, rancid smell of rubber mixed with it. How could a priest worship God by mixing with the sweet-smelling ingredients some foul ingredient that would be a stench in the nostrils of priest and people?

So how can we worship God acceptably when there is within our nature something that, when it catches on fire, gives off not a fragrance but a smell? How can we hope to worship God acceptably when there is something in our nature which is undisciplined, uncorrected, unpurged, unpurified—which is evil and which will not and cannot worship God acceptably? Even granted that a man with evil ingredients in his nature might with some part of him worship God half acceptably, what kind of a way is that to live?   TWE008-009

Purify my heart. Bring to my remembrance anything that might be a stench in Your holy nostrils. Cleanse me, that my worship this morning might be a sweet perfume, pleasing to You in every way. Amen.

 

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