We had a lovely snow yesterday. Although we didn't get as much as we expected, it was nice to see the soft, powdery flakes fall. Watching the snow come down was so peaceful. At times it was slow and steady. other times, there was barely any. As I watched it, I was reminded of verses from the Bible that speak about snow. (Those who know me well know I relate everything in life to Scripture. I can't help it. The Bible is my textbook and Jesus is my life.)
A favorite verse about snow is found in the book of Psalms, chapter 51. If you're familiar with that chapter, you know it's about David feeling remorseful for his recent indiscretion with Bathsheba, Uriah the Hittite's wife. When David sinned, he knew what he was doing wrong, but did it anyway. After the dastardly deed was done, David, a man after God's own heart, knew He needed to make things right. His relationship with God had been broken so He asked God to purify him. In verse 7 he says, "Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean; Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."
In Biblical times, hyssop, an herb similar to species of marjoram, grew in rocky crevices or stone walls. (I had a chance to see it while in Israel as I stood in front of the retaining wall of the Temple. I've attached some photos for your perusal.) The short, brushy stems were gathered into bunches and used in purification rituals.
Hyssop is mentioned eleven times in the Bible, nine times in the Old Testament and twice in the New Testament. The most memorable reference can be found in John 19:29, when Jesus was given vinegar in a sponge attached to a branch of hyssop. It was also used to spread blood on the lintels and doorposts as the death angel passed. (The Israelites were told to stay in their homes and the sacrificial blood would protect them.) The biblical use of hyssop gives us a clear picture of the washing, cleansing, and saving that can only come from eternal God and this is the kind of cleansing David requested.
The snow David mentions would have been pure and bright, symbolic of an untouched snowfall. His desire was to be completely and utterly clean.
In verse 10, the psalmist says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right and steadfast spirit within me." Not only did David want to be completely purified and washed clean, but he also wanted it to stick. He wanted a life changing cleanliness.
We all want that don't we? Just like the lovely snow we had yesterday, I can completely understand David's desire. We all fight our flesh on a daily basis and when we're walking in our flesh, that ugliness of it is unChristlike.
I'm thankful God is in the business of restoration! I think He takes great delight in cleaning up our messes when we make them. The power of sin is strong and that's why we must put on our armor every single day. Never forget to guard your heart, guard your mind and guard your eyes, that way, you'll be doing what you can to maintain your purity. And in the event you slip, know that your Heavenly Father is faithful! He's always ready to forgive our sin if we'll ask with a repentant heart. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)