â€œI will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.â€ (Isaiah 61:10)
One of the beautiful biblical metaphors of salvation is that of clothing appropriate for coming into Godâ€™s presence. Such clothing is not something we ourselves can make or purchase; it must be prepared and provided by God.
Adam and Eve tried to dress themselves in fig leaves, but that could not avail. Their Creator God first had to slay two innocent animals, and then He made â€œcoats of skins and clothed themâ€ (see Genesis 3:7, 21).
So it is today. If we try to come to God dressed in our works of righteousness, we can never make it, for â€œall our righteousnesses are as filthy ragsâ€ in the presence of a holy God (Isaiah 64:6). He must provide the clothing. As our text says, â€œHe hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.â€
In Jesusâ€™ parable of the wedding feast for the kingâ€™s son, there was one man who wanted to participate in the feast, but who tried to come in his own attire, disdaining the wedding garment provided by the king for his guests. When the king asked, â€œHow camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?â€ he was speechless (Matthew 22:12), and then was bound hand and foot and thrown â€œinto outer darknessâ€ (v. 13).
One day, when â€œthe marriage of the Lamb is come,â€ His bride must be â€œarrayed in fine linen, clean and white: . . . the righteousness of saintsâ€ (Revelation 19:7-8). But this righteousness will be His, â€œfor we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good worksâ€ (Ephesians 2:10). Therefore, we are exhorted to â€œput on thy beautiful garmentsâ€ (Isaiah 52:1), and be prepared to meet our King. HMM