“Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!”
Every teenager has heard their mother say, “Go clean your room, it is filthy.” My mother was one who believed her children needed to keep a clean room. To my mother, a clean room was making sure our bed was made, room was dusted, and everything was in its proper place. If my mother ever told me to clean my room, it was normally because she found my room to be dusty. She would say, “Son, your room is filthy. Go clean your room.” It was her way to be sure that I would never be embarrassed if someone walked into my room. She never wanted to have to give the excuse that her boy was like every other teenage boy.
In the verse above, God is telling Jerusalem to clean their room. God showed how Jerusalem was filthy, and He showed the pattern that led to this filth. Many Christians are like Jerusalem whose lives are filthy and need a cleaning. There is a pattern found in these verses that leads the Christian to having a filthy life.
Disobedience is the first step to a filthy life. Verse 2 says, “She obeyed not the voice…” Those little things you find to be annoying in the Scriptures are still to be obeyed. Picking and choosing what you will obey is simply disobedience. You can’t pick and choose what you are going to obey and expect God to think you’re obedient. Disobedience is wrong no matter how you put it.
Inability to receive correction is the second step to a filthy life. Verse 2 continues to say, “…she received not correction…” The ability to receive correction always reveals the tenderness of the heart. If you immediately rebel when someone corrects you, your heart is filled with rebellion. It has nothing to do with having time to think through what was said, but it has everything to do with a hard heart that won’t receive correction.
A faithless life is the third step to a filthy life. God continues to say, “…she trusted not in the LORD…” When faith has no place in your life, sin will quickly move in. Faith keeps sin away because it forces the Christian to walk with God. You will never overcome sin without living by faith.
A prayerless life is the fourth step to a filthy life. God finishes this verse by saying, “…she drew not near to her God.” Of course, when you don’t live a life of faith, you won’t have the necessity to pray. You can always know that a person living in sin is a person who prayer life has been quarantined. You will always find that the closer you draw to God, the further from sin you will walk. Prayer is sin’s repellent.
Losing your temper is the fifth step to a filthy life. Verse 3 says, “Her princes within her are roaring lions…” The Christian who easily loses their temper is the person who is self-focused. When you stop drawing nigh to God through prayer, you will begin to focus on yourself. When you focus on yourself, you will easily lose your temper when people do things with which you don’t agree.
Easily angered is the sixth and final step to a filthy life. God talks about their judges being “wolves.” Anger outbursts are a result of inward discontent. An angry person is a person whose life is filled with filth. My friend, the easiest way to keep from being an angry person is to remove these steps and obey everything the LORD commands you to do.