“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” – Psalm 51:7
Sometimes when you read scripture, it takes on new meaning by what is going on in your world. Passages that have been read a hundred times, now stand out. With all the world so focused on the coronavirus and washing our hands, maybe that is why this verse was highlighted today. Being clean is now being shouted from the rooftops. This is not a new concept for me. If you know my dad, you know that he is the cleanest person on earth. I have been trained very well – thanks dad!! My husband said this morning that my dad has been preparing for this for 68 years! It made us laugh and that is much needed right now. I hope you are able to laugh. If you need assistance, I have stories for days.
In the above verse, written by King David after he had been confronted with his sin, he is asking the Lord to make him clean again. He longs for their relationship to be restored to the time before he had sinned against our Lord. His words are so powerful and heartbreaking. He is real, honest and full of repentance. How sorry he is, not for being caught or found out, but because of the broken fellowship between him and God. Have you ever been there before? The cries that come from a repenting heart must sound like a song to our Lord. Have you learned to sing these beautiful songs?
King David asks to be cleansed with hyssop and that is not something we hear of today. When I checked the study notes in my Bible, it says that this was a practice from the Old Testament (see Exodus 12:22). When we look at this passage, we find out that it was a hyssop stalk the Israelites were to dip in the blood of a lamb and paint the blood over the doorway before the night that the Lord went through Egypt and killed the first born. This is what we are celebrating with Passover. And in celebrating, we remember that Jesus was the Lamb that died in our place. It is His blood that is now over our lives, our sin and we will live eternally with Him. We also see the extreme measures God goes to in order to rescue His children from slavery.
If the concept of being enslaved sounds foreign to you, I would say listen to the fear running its course through the world. Listen as idols are being exposed, things we were enslaved to as a society. Listen as panic is setting in because all that was secure has been shaken. Look at the empty shelves that have been cleared and stockpiled in homes. Are we not to be prepared? Of course we are, but to what measure? Normally, shelves have plenty of what we need because we only buy enough and trust there will be more. When fear and panic come on the stage, well, we see the result. It is like the fear of death has settled in like a dark cloud hovering over our world. Also, I wonder why we have not always taken seriously the warning found in Matthew 10:28. Why we have not have a reverent fear of Almighty God? “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Again, another extreme verse and the revealing power of our God, whom we should fear.
Perhaps we could ask ourselves a few questions. Could God use this horrible virus to clean my heart? Could He take this time to wash away, with His covering blood, the sin that has distanced me from Him? Before we leave this place of heart searching, I need to give you more to consider. Look with me at John 19:28-30. “Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty’. A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished’. With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” Do you think that maybe this virus could possibly stop if we too lifted up pure hearts to Jesus? Maybe during all of this we have repented and come back to our first love. Do you think if there is a massive wave of souring cleaning, He will say the virus is now finished?
I pray we all have actually found Him as we “shelter in place”. He never left you know, even when America turned its back on Him in so many ways. He is still here. Do we know Him and His peace and can truly say, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)? And if you are unsure about all of this, look for those who “will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:2). They are shining pretty bright right now. Shining like new pennies that happen to read, “In God We Trust”. May we return to a nation that can truly say this!