"From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds and bruises, and putrefying sores; they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment" (Isaiah 1:6).
Isaiah uses figurative language in this text to describe the sinful condition of "Judah and Jerusalem" (Isaiah 1:1). Isaiah pictures the havoc sin has done to his people like a body that has been beat to a pulp and left without attention. It is a very accurate picture.
FIRST - THE DEGREE OF SIN
"From the sole of the foot even unto the head." In every area of society sin abounds is what this portrayal of sin says. We often use this figure of speech ('from the tip of our toes to the top of our head') to describe the great extent of things. The portrayal is very accurate of our land, for sin is everywhere. There seems to be no area in which sin does not abound, even our churches are greatly afflicted by sin.
SECOND - THE DAMAGE OF SIN
"No soundness, but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores." Sin leaves an effect upon the earth, and none of the effect is good.
• Stupidity. "No soundness." Sin does not help the intellect. We have blue collar crime, but also white collar crime. It makes no difference what your level of status is in society, sin takes away your ability to think properly. That will explain a lot of stupid rationale, legislation and pontifications coming from our government officials. That explains why our schools teach evolution, why our society allow alcohol to be sold in many places and fusses over cholesterol and fast food ingredients. Swallowing a camel and straining at a gnat (Matthew 23:24) is not a mark of intelligence but evidence of sin.
• Suffering. "Wounds and bruises." Sin hurts. It causes many wounds that cause much suffering. Sin causes much bleeding and breaks many bones. It does not bring comfort but discomfort. Peace is not a product of sin. War and crime, which plague our world and leave much suffering in its wake, are products of sin, not righteousness.
• Stink. "Putrefying sores." Sin leaves a foul odor. Rescue missions smell, taverns smell, wherever sin is prevalent there is a foul odor. We speak of barnyard morals of many sinners. They also smell like the barnyard. I remember when Dad, (a lumber yard manager) would come home from a conference and hang his coat in the back closet because it stunk so badly of cigarette smoke. Smokers have no manners. They would stink up every person's clothes.
THIRD - THE DISREGARD OF SIN
"They have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment." All the programs of men have done little, if anything, to decrease the damage of sin. The only program that works is the Gospel, but men fight the Gospel teeth and toenail. Urban renewal has been a flop, welfare programs have failed—only the blood of Jesus will take away the sin of man (I John 1:7)