“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with beautiful headdress, and as a bridegroom adorns herself with jewels…”
I love how God uses the common to disclose the divine. This happened to me this week as I watched my 5 year old slip into her new robe. Her blonde curly hair flowed down and met the soft fabric, she slid down into it like she had found a safe place. She pulled it up around her neck and looked so peaceful, like it offered a sense of relief. That’s when I became aware of the robe that enwraps me, my safe place, the relief for my soul; the robe of righteousness.
To be robed in ancient times was to be covered and adorned with significance. The robe was a symbol of authority, status, and inheritance. For example we see it in Genesis 37, when Joseph was clothed with the “coat of many colors”. As Israel draped it over his favored sons’ shoulders, he was doing more than placing a beautiful garment, he was displaying his favor and love.
Likewise, we see Rebekah take the “best garments” of the eldest son, Esau, and place them on Jacob, the youngest son. The oldest son in biblical days held a certain prominence, they would receive a double portion of the inheritance, Jacob thus, was covered with Esaus inheritance.
After the Prodigal son was done squandering his inheritnece, after the effect of vain living had caught up with him, he returned to the loving arms of the father. Upon his return the father called for the “best robe”to lay across his sons wayward shoulders, symbolizing the complete forgiveness of the son, the reestablishment into the family.
Love, inheritance, forgiveness…all seen in the symbolic gesture of the “robe” throughout scripture. To be wrapped up in a robe was to be adorned with love, the riches of the father, and forgiveness.
In 1 Samuel 18, Jonathan, the heir to the throne of Israel, “stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David..”. The son of the king, the rightful heir to the throne humbled himself by removing the symbol of his authority and placing it on Gods chosen one.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” The Son of God took off His heavenly vestments and put on the flesh of humanity. The God-man, stripped Himself of His rights and placed His inheritance onto the sinful shoulders of the chosen.
In Zechariah 3, Joshua the priest stood before the throne of God. Satan was looking on, eager for his chance to accuse and condemn him. As all of Heaven seemed to be watching, in a court like atmosphere, the Lords voice thundered over the accusations of the enemy and said “Remove the filthy garments from him.” As the angel came to take away the rags that hung over the priest, the Lord looked into Joshuas eyes and said “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I clothe you with pure vestments…”
To clothe- means to envelope, to be enwraped
As, I watched my sweet little girl twirl around in her pink fuzzy robe, I felt the honor of it all; the fact that my earth torn garments had been removed and now the robe of righteousness drapes across my unworthy shoulders. That somehow, the Son stripped His own glory off and laid it across this bare, sin stained woman and in doing so now she was enveloped with honor, love, forgiveness, and the riches of the throne.
“…I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; the train of his robe filled the temple…” Isiaih 6:1
The robe of the One sitting upon a throne now fills us, the temple of the Spirit. All the granduer and glory that is represented by the robe fills our souls as the Spirit thrives. We, now are the dwelling, where God has chosen to tabernacle.
I have read many different things over the past few days about the “robe” of God, something I kept coming across was that in ancient times after a king had conquered his foe, he would tear off a piece of their robe and sew it into the train of their own. So, the longer the train the more victorious the king. I’m not sure if that holds any water in historical accounts, but I do know that the train from the throne of God symbolizes unmatched victory. Victory that has been transferred from His mighty being to our weak frames.
So, child of the King…twirl in your robe, sink down into it and marvel in the fact that you have been endowed with splendor from on high. Extol Him with your life, live as one who is loved, forgiven, and chosen. What better way to lift Him up then to use your life as a platform? Exalt the One who has removed your rags and clothed you with something you could never have afforded on your own…righteousness.
So, no matter where you are or where you find yourself now;YOU’R COVERED.