January 7, 2021
- By Ed Powell
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"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean: wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice." Psalm 51:7-8
Not until we see ourselves in our pitiful, corrupt "self" before the holiness and righteousness of God, do we cry out as David. He says, "For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me." Possibly he was thinking how sin had consumed him when he planned to have Uriah killed in battle so he could have Bathsheba for himself. Certainly, he would not think those actions were foreign to his deceived heart; rather, it was an indication of the extreme depravity of his own heart. What inward grief and conviction must have reigned when Nathan said to David, "You are the man," establishing his sin, not only before man but also before God. David is deeply convicted and completely crushed with guilt and shame.
He acknowledges his sin before God and seeks to be restored to the holy communion and companionship he had previously with God. He cries out to Him, "Purge me with hyssop and I shall be [ceremonially] clean." Hyssop was the little shrub with which the blood and water of purification were applied. This he needed, as he bares himself before God, declaring all his hopes and fears, his grief and consolations. Then he says, "Wash me [continually] and I shall [in reality] be whiter than snow." A once-and-for-all cleansing was not enough; he needed daily cleansing.
Then he prevails upon the grace of God, "Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice." To David, who had known such privileged, intimate communion with God, just to be purged and washed was not enough. He wanted to be restored completely; he wanted his repenting soul to once again sing aloud the clear "songs of deliverance!" The cry of his heart was "Restore unto me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." He was aware of the penetrating, heart-searching eye of God, which revealed that he had been weighed in the balance, and had been found wanting! It is the same with us...with broken heart and contrite spirit, we can find deliverance!
It was with tender compassion, anxious care, and joyful satisfaction that God dealt with David. Well might we wonder how it must have been to have God's divine wisdom seeking to lead him, His almighty power ready to uphold him, His fathomless mercy interceding for his sins and frailties, and the His faithfulness making a reality His promises in David's behalf!
Is it any wonder that when David considered these things, he was compelled to cry out, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? HOPE THOU IN GOD, for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God" (Psalm 42:11). The more we are sensitive to our guilt and helplessness, the more God is ready to help, restore, forgive, and deliver us and "make the bones he has crushed rejoice." A contrite heart he will not despise. His arms of mercy and grace are ready to reconcile and restore! "Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness!" Dare to believe. God is on the throne!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php=1&row=&date=2021-01-07
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