Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
- Weekly Pastoral Message -

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"Continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" Acts 2:42

Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 12th October 1997

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 wool.

All God requires for this stain removal is to believe the message and lay claim to its promise.

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Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
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