By Wally Fry
Thursday, March 7
Unclean People, Unclean Offering
“If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No,” Haggai 2:12.
Holiness is not transferable. Here, God has asked the people to ask the priests two questions. One, does touching a holy clean thing make one clean? No. Two, does contacting unholy and unclean things make one unclean? Yes. The Lord went on to deliver to the people a clear lesson on how their tithes and offerings, brought before the Lord with unclean hands, were themselves rendered unclean. In other words, the right actions with the wrong heart are useless; God said of the nation, “That which they offer there is unclean” (verse 14).
We do not become clean by doing clean things. We can go to church, read the Bible, teach a class and serve on every committee in church, and we will not be clean in the eyes of God. The true answer is that nothing we offer based on the fruit of our own labor is acceptable to God. If we rely on our own efforts to please God and be restored to Him, we will always fail. Our hearts must be right and our hands clean. The problem is, “The heart is deceitful” (Jeremiah 17:9), and we are born with unclean hands.
Only by the work of Jesus our Lord can our hearts be transformed, our hands be made clean and our offerings and works be suitable to the Lord. We need to stop relying on our own efforts and accept the one and only offering ever needed—Jesus Christ.