David-And I Shall Be Clean

When David stood at the other end of Nathan's boney finger, pointed directly in his face—he was guilty, and he knew it. David had broken every law in the book, God’s Book.  

In reality, David had broken all of the Ten Commandments when he sinned with Bathsheba. How had he broken them all? In two ways; first by his actions he broke them all. And secondly, by God’s standards he broke them all. 

  • 1: "No other gods…”—David allowed his lust to be the god to which he bowed in obedience.
  • 2: “Not take the Name…”—David took the Holy Name of God in vain as he said he was God’s man and lived like the devil.
  • 3: “Not make a graven image…”—David engraved the image of naked Bathsheba as she bathed so deeply on his lustful soul, that he forgot even the God he loved for that moment of sin.
  • 4: “Remember the Sabbath…”—David didn’t keep the Sabbath or any other day holy for God once he allowed lust to rule.
  • 5: “Honor thy father and mother…”—David dishonored them and all his family as he sank into such wicked and premeditated sin.
  • 6: “Not kill…”—David sent the murder request to Joab, so it was not his sword but the arrows of others that David used--but it was his desire that Uriah be killed.
  • 7: “Not commit adultery…”—that was the clearest of all David’s law breaking.
  • 8: “Not steal…”—David stole the wife of his neighbor and trusted friend Uriah as Nathan clearly pointed out in the story of the lamb.
  • 9: “Not lie…”—David’s false response was a lie when the messenger came with the ghastly news of Uriah’s death; and even more, every day David lived in sin was a lie that he deceptively covered.
  • 10: “Not covet…”—David broke this law as he so coveted his neighbors wife that he would steal her and kill her husband to lie in sexual sin with her. 

So David was a guilty sinner. He broke them all. But in reality, so have every one of us. We all by God’s standards have become guilty of breaking them all. Listen to the very first New Testament letter, written by the very first New Testament local church pastor named James. 

James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

The Good News

Jesus died for all of us who are guilty sinners. As we read the rest of this Psalm and see how David asked for the sacrificial death of another to be counted for him (purge me with hyssop)—we can see why Christ's death for us sinners is so precious, and so powerful. 

Purge Me

  • As sinners we are defiled internally v. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  

He says I am so aware of my utter filthiness on the inside compared with God’s holiness. Compare myself with God and see what we really are. And that’s what he does, he says purify me, I see myself, I see my character-  

  • As sinners we need cleansing v. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  

Purge me with hyssop. Sprinkle Christ's atoning blood upon me. Give me the reality which ceremonies symbolize. Nothing but His blood can take away my bloodstains; nothing but His cleansing can cleanse me.  

This verse should also be read as the voice of faith: “Thou wilt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean.” There is such power in Christ's sacrifice, my sin will vanish away. I will be accepted back into the assembly of God’s people—and by grace into God’s Holy Presence.  

Wash me. But not just ceremonially clean, I also need real spiritual purification of soul and spirit, my deepest parts. And I shall be whiter than snow. Snow stays white only briefly, soon it gathers dirt, smoke and dust, then it melts and disappears in a muddy mess; but God offers to me an endlessly kept purity. He has promised to 'save to the uttermost’ (Hebrews 7:24-25). 

Back in the Old Testament hyssop was used for three purposes.

  • First, when God took the children of Israel out of Egypt, He said, “There is one thing you must do at Passover. You are to take a lamb, slay it, and take its blood in a basin out to the front door. Then use bunches of hyssop to apply the blood to the doorposts and to the lintel.” Hyssop portrayed the application of Christ's blood to shield from God’s wrath.
  • Second, when God was giving instructions for cleansing a leper, He told about taking a live bird brushed with hyssop dipped in the blood of a slain bird, and then letting it fly away. Hyssop portrayed the death and resurrection of Christ.
  • Third, when the children of Israel were on the wilderness march and one of them sinned, they couldn’t stop and put up the tabernacle and offer a sacrifice. So provision was made for purification of sin by killing a red heifer, burning it along with hyssop, gathering the ashes, and taking them along on the wilderness march. When a man sinned, the ashes were put in water, then hyssop was used to sprinkle them on him. What a tremendous message! Hyssop portrayed the reception of Christ's sacrifice that brought forgiveness

You have to go to Calvary to find the explanation of David’s cry to ‘purge me with hyssop’. 

 On the cross the Son of God said, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). Why did He say that? Because God cannot by any means clear the guilty. He cannot. He never will. And when the Lord Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, was made sin for us on the cross—when He was delivered for our offenses that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him—God had to treat Him as He must treat sin.  

Remember that God spared Abraham’s son, but God did not spare His own Son when He had my sin and your sin upon Him. He had to slay Him, because God cannot pardon the guilty. Let’s be clear on that. God hates sin and He will punish sin. By no means will He clear the guilty. 

On the cross Jesus also said, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34). How can He forgive them? How can He extend mercy to thousands? How can He forgive iniquity? How can He forgive David? And how can He forgive you and me? The Bible is clear on this: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).  

And every time you find forgiveness in the New Testament, the blood of Christ is responsible. God never forgives sin apart from the death of Christ. Never. God is not forgiving sin because He is a big-hearted old man sitting on a cloud. He forgives sin because His Son paid the penalty.  

And now, with open arms, He can say to you, “I can extend mercy to you because My Son died in your place.” Oh, David knew the way into the heart of God.  

So when David said, “Purge me with hyssop,” he was crying out to God—apply Christ's sacrificial death on me. Much like the publican of Luke 18, David was saying ‘God be merciful to me” and like the thief on the Cross ‘remember me’.  

 

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