99 44/100% Pure

977 words | 3.5 minutes

Jun 8, 2024

So pure … “It floats.”

It was developed in 1879, in the laboratory of Proctor & Gamble Company, as an inexpensive soap. Legend has it, though, that it got its name in church. It’s said that Harley Proctor heard the beautiful words of Psalm 45:8: “All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the IVORY palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.” 

Undoubtedly, he thought, “Anything that would make clothes smell THAT sweet and would make someone THAT happy—would surely be the perfect SOAP.”  And so, their new floaty white soap that was ALMOST pure got a name—Ivory.

The fact that the soap floats has a simple explanation—there’s air in it. However, that’s not its most puzzling claim to fame. Since it was first introduced, the manufacturer has affirmed that it’s “99 44/100% PURE.” The claim begs the question: “99 44/100% pure … WHAT?” The underwhelming answer is “99 44/100% pure SOAP.” (Well, duh.) Apparently, chemists determined that there’s 56/100ths of “non-soap material” in every bar. Not counting the air, of course.

In all fairness, we must give P&G credit for honesty—they never claimed its product to be “100% pure.” But even a child knows that 99 44/100% “PURE”—though very close to the mark—isn’t strictly PURE, is it?

God’s definition of a 100% PURE heart:

  • Deuteronomy 6:4-5 KJV: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with ALL thine heart, and with ALL thy soul, and with ALL thy might.”
  • 2 Kings 17:35-39 CJB:Do not fear other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. On the contrary, you are to fear ADONAI, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm. Worship him, and sacrifice to him … You are not to forget the covenant I made with you. No, you must not fear other gods, but must fear ADONAI your God; then he will rescue you from the power of ALL your enemies.”

 Implied throughout these commands to Israel were expectations of 100% cooperation:

  • Love and fear ONLY the LORD GOD (Adonai) who ALONE brought you out of bondage.
  • Worship NO other gods—NONE.
  • Observe ALL the laws, obey EVERY command.
  • ALWAYS remember the covenant He made with you … and IF YOU DO:
  • Expect from GOD HIS 100% provision, protection, and power. 100% return for 100% investment!

King David set the standard as a man wholeheartedly after God’s own heart. After him, kings were measured by his example:

  • King Uzziah (Azariah) began well by doing what was right, following the pattern set by his father, Amaziah, and great (x8) grandfather, David. HOWEVER, during his reign he developed pride and arrogance. His heart percentage started slipping … 99% … 97% …
  • King Jotham, his son, stepped in and also did what was right, BUT he failed to ever go to the House of the Lord. He was not a worshipper like David. Slipping further … 96% … 95% …
  • King Ahaz, next in line, did NOT follow the example of his father or of David at all. He mixed worship of Adonai with the worship of pagan gods, building pagan altars throughout Jerusalem, and replacing the holy brazen altar with a replica of a pagan shrine. It’s easy to see the generational slide—Ahaz’s percentage of purity fell off the scale.
  • King Hezekiah, however, reversed the trend and reset the scale when he took the throne, IN SPITE of how he was raised. 2 Chronicles 31:20-21 records: “Hezekiah wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God. And in every work that he began … to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.”

God has not changed. His expectations of WHOLEHEARTED devotion have not been altered, nor has His promises. Matthew, Mark and Luke all record the words of Jesus as He set the terms for the New Covenant: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with ALL thy heart, and with ALL thy soul, and with ALL thy mind.” Jesus further clarified … “No man can serve two masters.” (Matthew 6:24 KJV)

“Pure” is 100% PURE.

  • You cannot repent of 99% of your sins.
  • You cannot be 99% baptized in Jesus’ name.
  • The Holy Ghost doesn’t fill you to the 99% mark—it fills to overflowing.

When God gives us a NEW HEART, replacing our heart of stone with a WHOLE NEW heart of flesh, it comes from His hand wholly PURE, containing no percentage of “non-GOD material.” After that, however, maintaining our purity of heart, soul, and mind is dependent on our degree of WHOLEHEARTED devotion to His WILL, commitment to His WAY, and obedience to His WORD.

Nevertheless, also KNOW this: the promises of God REMAIN unaltered. For our undivided devotion, He offers His 100% provision, protection, and power.

EVERY word of God is PURE.” (Proverbs 30:5 KJV)

  • Psalm 119:2 (KJV) “ALEPH: Blessed [are] they that keep his testimonies, [and that] seek him with the WHOLE HEART.”
  • Psalm 119:10 (KJV) “BETH: With my WHOLE HEART have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.”
  • Psalm 119:34 (KJV) “HE: Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with [my] WHOLE HEART.”
  • Psalm 119:145 (KJV) “KOPH: I cried with my WHOLE HEART; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes.”

How about YOUR heart? Is it 100% PURE? So pure, it floats? … unencumbered? untethered? undivided? So pure it rises above the mess you’re floating in?

Dear Jesus: You have given me a heart to know You—that You are the LORD, and I am Your child. Help me every single day to return to You my WHOLE HEART—100%. Withholding NOTHING. By Your power, let my heart float above my circumstances. In Your name, Jesus—Amen.