From the Pastor: Curious Comparisons II
"Though (your sins) are red like crimson, they will be like wool" Isaiah 1:18|
Much attention is given today in the world of industrial chemistry to
the problem of stain removal. Indeed, some stains are very difficult to
remove: tar is one still dreaded by most housewives. Products are
advertised on the television for which great claims are made in this
regard, and doubtless we have our own favourites as to which of the many
works best. Also dyes are used extensively. The thing we want to know
about a dye is how well it will stay in and not "run", the very opposite
problem to stain removal.
As reards dyes, there is a strange insect which we call the coccus worm,
but called in Arabic qirmiz, which lives on a certain type of oak tree
prevalent in the Middle East. The female of this insect, when it dies,
yields a brilliant scarlet or crimson dye, much prized in antiquity and
even down to the Middle Ages. This was the dye used to colour the
curtains and other fabric of the Tabernacle. Our word "crimson" is the
Arabic word above, with different vowels and an added 'n'.
Two things stand out regarding this dye:
1. It was as permanent as any dye could be. Without, of course, any of
the modern chemicals at hand, to remove it was impossible. However,
though your sins be just like that, God's stain removal will succeed.
2. Though highly prized for its brilliant colour, as a stain on an
otherwise white or light coloured garment it was a blot serious enough
to spoil it completely. Herein is the Gospel of Isaiah: the Messiah
spoiled His own white garments with crimson stains (Isaiah 63:1-2) in
our stead so that our sin-stained clothes might be all over as white as
All God requires for this stain removal is to believe the message and
lay claim to its promise.