Jesus said, “I came for the sick, not for the healthy.” (See Mark 2:17). This does not mean that you have to be sick for Jesus to pay attention to you. Certainly the Pharisees were among the sickest people in the world at that time. The point that Jesus was trying to make is that religious people don’t recognize their need for change. And it is impossible to help someone change when he likes the way he is.
King David is certainly one of the most remarkable people mentioned in the Bible. He did so much good to advance God’s purposes in the earth; but he also had major problems in his life. In addition to these problems, David had a moral failure of giant proportions. In short, David committed adultery and then in an effort to cover it up, he had the woman’s husband killed.
David was an adulterer, and a murderer. But worse than that, he lied to everyone about it, including God. So God sent the prophet Nathan to David. And essentially, Nathan pointed the finger of divine judgement and at him saying, “David, you are guilty.”
The light of holy truth pierced through the dark webs of lies that David had spun in his soul. He was broken. And Psalm 51 is the fruit of his brokeness. This song of David serves as a moral compass for those who desire to be transformed. It gives us clear insight to what David did to be restored to God, win back the trust of the people, and continue towards his destiny.
Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean.
As the darkness of David’s soul was penetrated by the light of God’s truth, his heart cried out, “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean.” (Psalm 51:7)
Hyssop is a plant commonly found in southern Europe, the Middle East and in proximity to the Caspian Sea. In Biblical times it was used primarily as a medicinal plant due to its properties as an antiseptic, cough reliever and expectorant.
The Hebrew word for “purge” is pronounced khaw-taw and in this context means “to expiate” or “to cleanse.” It is a word used in the Bible in reference to moral failure, transgression and sin.
David was not just asking for a little forgiveness, he was crying out to God to be cleansed from moral failure. He was not just wanting some mercy; he was crying out for transformation.
David’s heart was genuinely broken over what he had done. But he did something that often eludes you and I. David could have focused on losing the respect of the people, which had been king Saul’s great error. He could have allowed himself to drown in the mourning of the loss of his illegitimate child much as Judas Iscariot mourned his betrayal of Christ. But David was able to see more than just the immediate failure. When confronted with the reality of his sin and the horrific consequences, he looked down the road and believed that another man would arise within him. God could transform him.
Transformation cannot happen until you first embrace the true state of your own heart. This is the first step towards change. One must distinguish between the desire to do good, and the fact that our hearts are evil and we chose to do what is wrong. Do not judge yourself by your good intentions. Examine yourself by what you actually end up doing.
Make this day of fasting one of deep soul searching. Are there areas of your life God wants to change? If so, make a written note of these things and commit them to the grace of God. You are well on the road to transformation.