Summary: Expositon of Zech. 13 dealing with God’s cleansing and refining.
A Passion for Purity
God desires for us to be pure; we ought to desire to be pure.
Dr. James Dobson’s relates the story of a family where the rule was nobody attended “R” rated movies. When 3 teens came to dad to ask permission to see a rated “R” blockbuster, they laid out their case in terms of pros and cons. The cons: it contained 3 swear words, the only violence was a building exploding, and you actually could not see the couple in the movie having sex. The pros; it was a popular movie -- everyone was seeing it. It has a good story and plot, some great adventure and suspense, would probably be nominated for several awards. Many church members saw it and said it wasn’t very bad.
The father asked for a day to think about it before making his decision. The next evening, the father called his 3 teens into the living room. On the coffee table he had a plate of brownies. He told them he had decided that they would eat a brownie then he would let them go to the movie. But before they did, just like the movie, the brownies had pros and cons. The pros: they were made with the finest chocolate and walnuts. The brownies were moist and fresh with wonderful chocolate frosting on top. He had made these fantastic brownies using an award-winning recipe. And best of all, the brownies had been made lovingly by the hand of their own father.
The brownies only had one con. He included a little bit of a special ingredient-just a little bit of "dog droppings" But he had mixed the dough well -- they probably would not even be able to taste the extra ingredient, and he had baked it at 350 degrees so any bacteria or germs had probably been destroyed. Therefore, if any one of his children would eat the brownies he felt they would be able to see the movie with "just a little bit of smut" and not be affected.
How many brownies do you suppose they ate? How many would you have eaten? Purity is important when it comes to food; It doesn’t take much filth to ruin good brownies. When it comes to food, we don’t want any “extra ingredients”- we want purity.
When it comes to your heart, God doesn’t like any “extra ingredients.” He desires purity. He has a passion for purity in His people, and He wants you and I to share that passion for purity in our own hearts.
In Zech. 13, God stresses His desire for purity in His people Israel, and as He does, He reminds us of two very important principles about purity in our own lives. Look with at these verses and see how God’s passion for purity can become our passion for purity.
I. GOD WANTS TO CLEANSE US (v. 1-6)
I once knew a boy who hated to take a bath. He would go for days without soap and water, except for a splash now and then before supper because of his mom. His dad would send him into the bathroom and he’d turn on the water, rub some on the soap, and then turn it off and wait for a reasonable amount of time before his exit, proclaiming he had taken a bath—even though he never even took off his clothes!
I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand to walk around for long in a dirty body. I have a hard time getting by on just one shower a day. I usually take at least two, or more if I start feeling grimy or sweaty. I like to keep my body as clean as possible.
How many of us feel that way about our hearts, our minds, our souls? Whether we do not, God wants us clean on the inside as well as on the outside. When John Wesley said cleanliness is next to godliness he spoke the truth about the heart as well as the body.
But how do you clean up the inside? Zechariah tells us in vs. 1-6.
First, he explains God provides the water for our cleansing. Zechariah is again prophesying about the future using the phrase In that day= the end of the world. Notice that it is God Who opens the fountain for the cleansing of the house of David and Jerusalem. This is no man-made means fountain—God provides the water for this bath.
But also notice the fountain is the means of cleansing His people from sin and uncleanness. This fountain is not just for decoration—it’s for removing the dirt of guilt, and the filth of sinful desires.
Both of these ideas tell us that God desires to cleanse His people from anything and everything that soils their souls. He is not satisfied with people who walk around with dirty hands, dirty hearts, dirty minds. He wants them clean. But He also provides the water that will cleanse them.