Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. In Psalm 51:7, David expressed the anguish of knowing that his sins of committing adultery with Bathsheba then plotting the murder of her husband, had surely separated him from God. He looked to God to “fix it,” for he knew that within himself he could not hide the sin or push it away or deceive the Lord into thinking that all was well between them. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow, he pleaded with the Lord.
Hyssop is an herb that has a lovely purple flower. Priests used hyssop to sprinkle blood during the Jewish Passover. It was used in an attempt to cleanse people of conditions such as leprosy, plagues, chest ailments, and cleansing of the soul. Because David had an intimate relationship with the Lord and was described as “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14), the magnitude of his sin overwhelmed him, and he realized that he needed more than a human priest to purge him with hyssop—He needed the Almighty to wash him. In fact, the word “purge” here means literally to “de-sin,” so David was seeking a total cleansing from the only One he knew could completely wash away his sin.
There’s nothing quite as beautiful as new-fallen snow. Those of us who live in snow belts have a great appreciation for the wonder of the first snow of the season. No matter how many winters pass, the first snowfall is a sight to behold. There is something almost holy in heaven’s pure-white blanket as it covers our yards, bushes, trees, and fields—so peaceful and undisturbed in purity. Nothing, not even rabbit tracks or tire marks, has marred it yet. In the verse today “whiter than snow,” means to be snow-white, as with the linen clothing of the slain. Revelation 13:8 (KJV) refers to Jesus as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. He is the spotless Lamb of God, our High Priest, who cleanses us from sin.
The Lamb of God comes to cleanse us from all sin. He will come as often as we ask Him—to “de-sin” us from anything we think or do or say that makes us uncomfortable with ourselves or with Him. These are His words to us, found in Isaiah 1:18: “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord; though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
Winter will soon be upon us. As the snow falls around us, let it be a reminder of our Lord’s merciful promise of cleansing, knowing that He has surely come to “de-sin” us and make us whiter than snow.
© 2021, Chris Werre