Isaiah 6:5, Man of unclean [Heb. tamay] lips.Profanity, cursing and swearing—foul and unclean words from the lips of ungodly people—surrounds and overwhelms us like a tidal wave of barnyard manure! Nowadays it’s the norm, not the exception—even for women. This can have an adverse influence on the saint too.
Like barnacles attaching themselves to a ship or a whale, the bad habit of unclean words can attach themselves to the otherwise righteous saint. The downward, magnetic pull of Baalism is ever with us and is powerful. The upward pull toward Elohim and righteousness…well, that’s another thing—is not always so strong!
Was this the case in Isaiah’s day as he found himself surrounded by apostate, backslid Israel? Did he struggle with profanity and impure words? Is this why he had to ask YHVH to cleanse his unclean [Heb. tamay] lips?
Tamay means “polluted, impure or defiled both ethically and religiously.” We must cry out to YHVH to deliver us from the often involuntary habit of profanity and polluted words. By his Spirit, he can and will.
But, again again, like barnacles on a ship’s hull, this habit often tries to reattach itself to our lips. From time to time, a ship has to have its hull scraped of these pesky and unclean crustaceans, or seek the cleansing waters of a fresh water port. Barnacles can’t survive in fresh water and fall off. Likewise, may the cleansing waters of YHVH’s Word wash our minds and mouths of foul, unclean words that leaven our souls and contaminate our spirit man.
Here’s yet another example of the struggle against barnacles. Barnacle encrusted whales catapult themselves out of the water not merely to show off, but to knock the barnacles off of them through the slapping action of the water against their bodies. Similarly, sometimes we have to take determined action and cry out to Elohim for his strength to break the curse of the bad habits of unclean words coming from our lips.
This is part of the deleavening process that we will spend a lifetime engaged in! May YHVH give us help and strength to overcome this tidal wave of evil!