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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Spiritual Shower Brush

Psalm 51:7-9

Verse 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

David’s prayer for cleansing isn’t done without much thought and significance. Remember, though this was a personal song of repentance, this song was going in the Hebrew Songbook. David was pouring his heart out to God and putting it in song so others could pour out their hearts to God when they sinned. For this reason David is very specific in what he is asking God to cleanse him with.

The hyssop branch was not really special on its own. It is a plant which is hearty enough it can grow from the cracks of a wall (1 Kings 4:33), has minty leaves and is thought to have medicinal uses. But the psalmist king isn’t mentioning it for any of those purposes. David knew hyssop would bring up the law in the minds of God’s people. Every boy in Israel was to memorize the law and the hyssop was mentioned in at least 2 different cleansing ceremonies (Leviticus 14 and Numbers 19).

The hyssop branch was also used in the Passover, not as a means of cleansing but in the marking of God’s people for the death angel. The people were to use a hyssop branch to smear the blood of the lamb on the doorposts as to mark that household as following God’s orders. Since the law was given after the exodus from Egypt when it was used as prescribed for the Levites it would have been a constant reminder of what God had done for them in the past.

It is this symbol that David brings back to the minds of God’s people in this song of repentance. God had not failed His people. He had brought them to the land He had promised but in His covenant with them, they had a responsibility to live in a way that glorified Him. Sin shows a person has walked away from their covenant with the Father.

This is what the king knew about himself and what he wanted others to remember too. True cleansing after sin can only come from the Father. He holds the key to our being allowed back into full relationship with Him. He never turns His back on us but our choices can draw us out of fellowship with Him, removing our joy and gladness. Like feeling freshly clean after our shower, a time of repentance gives us a sense of being washed with the hyssop and places us in fresh fellowship with our Lord and Savior.

Making It Personal

When have you experienced feeling far from the Lord? What brought you to the point of repentance? How intentional are you about keeping that relationship strong?

Making It Personal Kids

Have you ever felt like you had hurt Jesus and He wouldn’t want you around? Have you asked Jesus to forgive you? What does a good relationship with Jesus look like?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for reminding us that we need Your cleansing to be able to be in good relationship with You. Give us repentant hearts that long to be in close relationship with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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