Tag Archive | Garments

Weak and Useless Garments

If you have boys you have probably found that they have a bad habit of developing holes in the knees of their pants.  I don’t know why but for some reason between the ages of 5 and 12 my boys have succeeded in wearing out the knees of most of their pants.  I have bought three times as many pants at that age than any other item of clothing.  I initially tried patching them but that never worked and they looked horrible.

Their pants were weak and worn from use just like in the verses discussing old garments (Matthew 9:16, Mark 2:21, Luke 5:36).  Old garments are typically well used.  They have served their purpose.  There comes a time for them to be put away.

There are several verses that refer to the Law as weak or useless.

Romans 8:3-4 (ESV)

3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Hebrews 7:18-19 (ESV)

18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness
19 (for the law made nothing perfect)
; but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

Now we know the Law didn’t start out weak and useless but the Law had served its purpose.  The Law worked its purpose but now there is a better law, a newer garment.  The new garment is imperishable just like the garments of the Israelites in the desert.

Nehemiah 9:21 (ESV) Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.


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Tearing the New to Fix the Old?

Surely we wouldn’t tear a new garment in order to fix an old garment?

Or do we?

John MacArthur has said that garments in the Bible often refer to a person’s character.

Psalms 73:6 (ESV) Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.

From the verses I’ve read over the last few days about garments or robes I think I would have to say they refer to a person’s standing before God, their spiritual character.  These verses explain that better.

Isaiah 64:6 (ESV) We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Revelation 7:14 (ESV) I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

We are unable to make our garments (our character or standing with God) pure and white.  Only the Lord can give us new garments.

Zechariah 3:3-5 (ESV)

3 Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments.
4 And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”
5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by.

Now look at the passage in Luke, which is slightly different from the Matthew and Mark accounts.

Luke 5:33-39 (ESV)

33 And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.”
34 And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
35 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”
36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.
37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.
38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.
39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’ ”

Our Bridegroom has provided His bride with new garments of salvation and righteousness.

Isaiah 61:10 (ESV) 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 a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Revelation 19:7-8 (ESV)

7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure
”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

Why would we tear our pure, white linen robe to try and fix up our old, torn, filthy and polluted garment?

How do we do that?



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Garments in Genesis

While looking at the verses in Matthew 9:16, Mark 2:21 and Luke 5:36, I decided to look at what garment meant or referred to in Scripture.

Is it just speaking of clothing or is there a deeper meaning?

First of all garments have played a bigger role in Scripture than you would realize at first glance.

The first garments were those made by the Lord for Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:21 (ESV) And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

Although Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with fig leaves, they didn’t succeed and the Lord made them garments of skins.  The first sacrifice was the life of a lamb to cover the sins of man.  See the picture there? Revelation 7:14

Next the lack of garments was the cause of much trouble and a curse.

Genesis 9:20-25 (ESV)

20 Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard.
21 He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside.
23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him,
25 he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.”

Later garments are part of a deception played on Isaac.

Genesis 27:15-19 (ESV)

15 Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son.
16 And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck.
17 And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
18 So he went in to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?”

19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.”

Jacob is paid back for his deception using garments by the fact that his own sons deceived him concerning Joseph and his robe.

Genesis 37:3 (ESV) Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors.

Genesis 37:23 (ESV) So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore.

Genesis 37:31-34 (ESV)

31 Then they took Joseph’s robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.
32 And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father and said, “This we have found; please identify whether it is your son’s robe or not.”
33 And he identified it and said, “It is my son’s robe. A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.”
34 Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days.

Joseph has multiple issues concerning his robe or garments.

Genesis 39:11-17 (ESV)

11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house,
12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.
13 And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house,
14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice.
15 And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.”
16 Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home,
17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me.

However, Genesis ends with a prophecy concerning garments.

Genesis 49:10-12 (ESV)

10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11 Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.

Robes and Garments are very important symbols in Scripture.  Did you realize the importance?  Matthew 9:16 is definitely speaking of more than wise mending and sewing!



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