Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
What a tremendous piece of truth is laid out for us here. Look at what David calls out to God for. In verses 7-12 he asks God to purge him of his sin, wash him whiter than snow, give him back joy and gladness, rejoicing bones. He asks God to hide His face from his sins and blot out his iniquities, create in him a clean heart and renew in him a right spirit. He requests that God not cast him away from his presence, even though he knows very well that is what he deserves. He prays that the Holy Spirit never be taken away from him. He pleads that God would bring back his joy at being saved from his sin and make him a more willing servant.
This is a man who has come to see and know his sin. This is a man who knows what he deserves. This is a man who is weighed down with grief and is truly broken. He goes to his God and asks for forgiveness. “And if you would be so merciful as to grant it” he continues in verse 13, “then I will tell others about you”. What will David tell? He will tell people about the God who washes clean, heals broken bones, gives joy back to miserable sinners, blots out sin, creates clean hearts and renews the spirit. He will not be able to keep quiet about the God who does not cast people away from His presence and upholds people.
This is not a deal David is making. He is considering what he will feel like if God would truly forgive him. He is remembering how filled with joy he was when he was right with God. David knows that when forgiveness and restoration and a right walk with God comes he will be filled with a joy that he is unable to keep quiet about.
What a tragedy it is that so many of us who call ourselves Christians drift away from this. We talk about telling others about God and yet people don’t always come away having heard that He is the God who brings forgiveness and joy and restoration and purity. People who do not know Jesus need to hear that sin is great and God is holy and just and will by no means excuse the guilty. They need to hear that the penalty for sin is eternal and that no amount of works will ever satisfy the demands of justice and holiness. But they need to hear it from people who can demonstrate that God is the God who receives sinners when they call out to Him. He hears and forgives and restores and makes willing and keeps. They need to see that we have what we are saying God gives. They need to see that we walk with the kind of God that we are offering. They need to hear that we believe in free, unmerited, powerful, saving, keeping, grace that is lavished out liberally on those who seek His mercy even while they know they do not deserve it. They need to hear that God makes us better. He takes away the disease that had us in the spiritual ICU. They need to hear that He takes the chains off our ankles that had us tied to a dungeon of death and despair. They need to hear that He gives sight and freedom and real life.
Lost people are surrounded by Pharisees who look down their noses at them because of their immorality. They encounter people who slander their gods and their lifestyle and their choices. They are full of sin. How they need to encounter people who will talk to them of freedom and joy and forgiveness and peace with God. They may not always believe it. Belief is a gift of grace. A few years ago I shared the Gospel with a Muslim man in his house. He and his wife treated me like a king. I was made to feel welcome and we laughed and enjoyed one another’s company. We disagreed on most everything we discussed that night. When I spoke to him about God crediting those who believe in Jesus with the sinlessness of Christ and punishing Jesus for sins He did not commit, the man replied – “That’s impossible”. He meant that it was too good to be true. He refused to believe it. But at least he got it. I left there rejoicing that someone who heard the Gospel actually heard the Gospel. He could not imagine that anyone would love that much.
How long have you been a believer? When you speak the Gospel to others do you do it from a heart that is still rejoicing over the fact that God, in Christ, has hidden His face from your sins and blotted out your iniquities? Do you still bubble at the thought that He has given you a new heart and renewed a right spirit within you? Has the fact that He has kept you all these years and promised to never cast you away stunned you? Has the fact that you have God the Holy Spirit within you as a guarantee of eternal life still amazing you? Has the fact that you have gone to Him thousands of times for forgiveness and received it grip your soul? That is what people need to see in us. That is what they need to hear from us. Because it is true and it is too good to be true except for one thing – it is true. Get reacquainted with what God has done for you. Let’s not fall into thinking we have always been a believer. Remember and rejoice and let others know why.