When I was a kid the Ivory Soap commercial ran, “It’s so pure it floats!” Purity rose to the top. That Ivory Soap was 99.44% pure was always a mystery to me. It was 99.44% pure what? God is not calling us to be 99.44% pure; He is calling us to be 100% pure. Pure is pure. But since the Beatitudes are not a lesson in how to get saved but are a lesson in Kingdom living, what does 100% pure and seeing God mean?
First we all have to admit that none of us can attain 100% purity. Since pure is pure and not partly pure, and the passage calls for pure, it means completely and unadulteratedly pure. So, how do we achieve the impossible? The only way to get the impossible done is to have God do it. Remember what He said, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jer. 32:27) If we want purity we must go to Him that is pure. When Jesus was transfigured the Bible comments on His appearance, “And his clothes became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no launderer on earth can whiten them.” (Mark 9:3) This was divine clothing, purer than anything that man could produce. This is akin to the promise that God gave to Israel through Isaiah, “Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool’.” (Isa. 1:18) This was an offer God was making to an impure people. Come to me and I will make you clean.
If we want to come to God we must come with honesty. We must come admitting our own dirtiness. We must come asking to be cleansed and He will. When the dirt is off our soul and out of our spiritual eyes, we will see God. We will see His glory and rejoice in His love. We will be filled with gratitude for His grace. We will be eager to see the work that He has done and the work He has for us to do. We will see God and be filled with a happiness that is incomprehensible and without a fading away. We will love His Kingdom and we will be happy to serve in it.
James Nicholson wrote the popular hymn “Whiter than Snow.” It clearly testifies that our purity cannot come from within. Only He can wash us whiter than snow. “Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole; I want Thee forever to live in my soul. Break down every idol, cast out every foe; now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow, now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” In the joy of our new cleanness we will see the joy of our loving God.