And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.~Revelation 19:8 KJV
As I watched the flax flowing through her fingers around the spinning wheel, two words, heaven’s linen, circled my thoughts. As the demonstrator spun, her next words shed light on Revelation 19:8, a beloved verse. She said, “The wheel twists the flax, and at that moment the thread becomes linen.”
The Bible mentions linen ninety times, mostly in the Old Testament. The verses containing linen begin with color and drama as Pharaoh arrays Joseph in Genesis 41:42. And, like many words in the Bible, the grand finale ends with a flourish in the final book . One of the last times linen appears, the context switches from physical to spiritual. In Revelation 19:8, the King of Kings allows His Bride: the church, to wear fine linen. The stunning significance of the verse equates fine linen with the righteousness of the saints.
Process: Flax into Linen; Troubles into Righteousness
Sitting beside the window in the shadowed cabin, our demonstrator clarified the difference between flax and linen. When the spinning wheel twists the thread, the flax becomes linen. I realized life’s twists and turns mature us as we focus on the Lord in our journey of faith. In hard times, we don’t see righteousness forming in us; we only cry over our earthly circumstances. We miss the chaff of spiritual immaturity scattering in the wind as we pray, worship, and meditate in His Word. But, God sees the beautiful durable fine linen of our righteousness surfacing as we struggle to focus on Him. Life’s wheel twists us in troubled winds until the flax of our souls forms the fine linen of righteousness.
Preparation: Scutching/Heckling into Flax; Suffering/Sorrowing into Godly Focus
I gazed for long minutes at linen forming smoothly around the spool. Stepping outside the 1800s wooden house, I picked my way over the stones around the corner. I followed the sound of wood beating against wood. Another demonstrator beat the dried flax stalks firmly with a wooden scutching blade, removing outer shells of brittle debris. Then her friend pulled the pile through a small heckle (bed of sharp iron nails) repeatedly to clean and straighten. She would hand these to the spinner inside the house.
Watching the demonstrators beat the flax and prepare the flax for spinning reminded me of another spiritual principle. The righteousness of the saints mentioned in Revelation 19:8 often includes suffering. Focusing on the Lord while enduring trials releases the chaff of worldly thinking and reveals the extraordinary beauty heaven’s linen.
Pinnacle: Earthly to Heavenly
As I wandered toward another cabin, my mind lingered over truths seen from the doorway of a centuries-old rustic home. My twisted life creates the magnificent righteous beauty as Christ works His image into the contours of my earthly life. We don’t see the chaff of immaturity and ungodliness falling away; we only feel the suffering. Like being grateful when you see the picture of the wreck after a traffic jam, spiritual understanding finally arrives. One day, the fine white linen of righteousness—heaven’s linen—will shine with the glory of His presence.
Have you thanked God for Heaven’s linen?
Father God, thank You for renewal, forgiveness, and the cleansing that is ours as we give our lives to Jesus Christ. Thank You for making us righteous through His sacrifice at Calvary. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2022: Heaven’s Linen: Marlene Houk: All Rights Reserved