All Who Dress in Foreign Attire
Zeph. 1:7 ¶ Be silent before the Lord GOD!
For the day of the LORD is at hand;
the LORD has prepared a sacrifice,
he has consecrated his guests.
Zeph. 1:8 And on the day of the LORD’S sacrifice
I will punish the officials and the king’s sons
and all who dress themselves in foreign attire.
God's beloved and chosen people had continued to live in their infidelity. Punishment would come, but they still couldn't slow down long enough to realize what was happening. The young royals were living a life of frivolity. They didn't care about the religion of their parents or about God who said that he would supply their needs. We know that God had promised them beautiful clothing: "I clothed you with embroidered cloth and with sandals of fine leather; I bound you in fine linen and covered you with rich fabric." (Ezek. 16:10) But evidently it looked too much like "God's" clothing for it included the blue ribbon of those consecrated to God. Their choice of clothing indicated their allegiance and it was not to their God, but to the foreign gods. Their dress sent a message to those within their kingdom, a daily visible reminder that they had sold their souls to a life of infidelity with other gods. There were certain forms of pagan worship, that of Venus and Mars which included cross dressing, men dressed in fancy women's clothing and women dressed as men so that they could participate. Their outward clothing reflected their inner hearts.
I would like to suggest that our outward behavior, that which we put on every day when we go out the door, reflects our inner hearts. Christianity cannot be something that we simply do on Sundays, or even just a couple of Sundays a month, but loving Jesus must be something that we do every single day of our lives.
The church went through her years of legalism and began to be very strict regarding clothing and appearance. Now, the pendulum has swung completely in the other direction. There was a sense that we wanted to be "in the world but not of the world." Could it be in that pendulum swing that we have now gone so far to the other side that we are "in the world and of the world?" If someone were to hang around with us for a period of time would they actually know that we are a follower of Jesus Christ, or are we trying so hard to fit in with the world that no one can tell that there is a difference!
The young royals wanted to fit in with the rich and powerful from the other nations so badly that they were willing to abandon God, the one who had provided everything for them, simply to be able to hob-nob with others. Being a follower of Jesus Christ does not lead you to hob-mobbing with the rich and famous. Being a follower of Jesus Christ means that we clothe ourselves in him and then we step out into the world to be a reflection of him on a daily basis. We won't be hanging out at parties or festivals with the wealthy and powerful. We just may find ourselves helping to clean someone's home, or sitting beside someone who's in the hospital, or watching a recovering drug addict get sick, or getting to know the young prostitutes in our community -- because we know that we have to go where Jesus would want us to be. And when we go out to be Jesus in the world, we have to clothe ourselves in him -- not in the stuff of the world.
Jesus came to give us spiritual clothing -- him! We are to put on Jesus every single day. If we are dressing in anything but Jesus, then we are just as guilty as the young royals were, for we are dressing ourselves in foreign attire. We are citizens of God's kingdom, and as such he has provided us with all that we need -- and the most beautiful clothing in the world. What could be more beautiful than the radiance of the Son of God?
As we get ready to face the day we have a choice. What will we wear?
Lord, thank you for your sacrifice that allows me to wear you today. Amen.