Conceived and born in sin we are blacker than coal. And David had just confessed that God had to put truth in his inward parts, because he was born without it. But now in Psalm 51:7 he speaks of the tremendous change from being blacker than coal to becoming whiter than snow. He writes, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."
Now snow is the whitest of all earthly creatures. How then can David pray to be whiter than snow? Very simply: The blood and Spirit of Christ raises us to a higher spiritual level than Adam and Eve enjoyed when they came forth from the hand of God. Snow has earthly whiteness. The blood of Christ brings heavenly whiteness and purity. In other words, to be whiter than snow means that although Adam and Eve had a righteousness that was perfect, they could fall into sin and did. We are going to have the righteousness of Christ, which is a righteousness that is perfect and can never be lost. Wonderful as it would be to be like righteous Adam and Eve, it is far more wonderful to be like Christ.
Now God must wash us and does wash us by the blood of Christ, and David's words point to that cross. For he speaks of hyssop, a twig of which was used to sprinkle the blood on the doorposts before Israel left Egypt and Pharaoh's clutches. So we by the blood of Christ escape the hold of Satan upon us. That cross we should have in mind when we sing:
Thou alone my Savior art,
Teach Thy wisdom to my heart;
Make me pure, Thy grace bestow
Wash me whiter than the snow.
What a blessing then flows forth from that cross of Christ! And what a love of God David speaks of and seeks, when he prays to be so clean that he can never sin again. David's adultery and murder were terrible sins which he now sees as God sees them. But he is not simply interested in being delivered from their guilt. He wants every single sin removed and wants to be like Christ, so that never in any way does he sin again.
Do you want that, and is this your prayer? You may not pray for anything less.
Devotions on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter number 15
Why not sing along??
Quote for Reflection:
… The Devil's Work: "Nowhere perhaps is the devil so active as in a congregation of Gospel-hearers. ... From him come wandering thoughts and roving imaginations -- listless minds and dull memories -- sleepy eyes and fidgety nerves, weary ears and distracted attention. In all these things Satan has a great hand. People wonder where they come from, and marvel how it is that they find sermons so dull, and remember them so badly! They forget the parable of the sower. They forget the devil." - J.C. Ryle
- Date: 28-January