July 19, 2009
Psalm 51:7 says, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."
On Wednesday evening, I taught from this Psalm, verse 17, which speaks of having a broken spirit, and a broken and contrite heart. Of course, the Psalmist was referring to the work of God in him and allowing us to partake of his desires also. He was saying, "Lord, whatever it takes to serve you is what I want. Break me, grind me to powder, but bring me to a place in my life where I am totally sold out to you."
In the seventh verse of the same passage, the Psalmist talks about purging with hyssop. Hyssop was an herb associated with purification and cleansing. Here, he is probably talking about the cleansing of the soul. The Hebrew word for wash means the washing of clothes by beating and pounding. When I was in India at the Hebron Bible School, I watched the ladies doing laundry one day. They took a shirt, put it into soap, and worked the soap into the shirt with their hands. After this process, they began to beat the shirt on the concrete and rub the inside neck of the shirt with a stone. Then, they would go back to pounding, beating, and rinsing. After rinsing, they took the shirt and held it up in the sunlight to make sure the dirt and stains were gone. To my surprise, as the shirt was held up, I realized it was mine. It had been beaten and pounded, but it was very clean.
So it is with us and the Lord. Let this be our prayer, "Lord, purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."