by Heather Tietz
Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Hyssop is an aromatic plant, a strong smelling mint, commonly grown and used in Israel. Throughout the Hebrew law, hyssop was required in many of the purification ceremonies like cleansing from leprosy and purifying oneself after exposure to a dead body. It was also the tool that brushed the lamb’s blood over the doorposts that night of the first Passover. Hyssop cleaned. Hyssop purified. Hyssop saved the people from the Angel of Death.
The people had learned from all the law required ceremonies that God demanded purity in His presence. Things had to be clean. People had to be clean. They had a tradition of 613 commandments to follow if they were to keep themselves clean. It was nearly impossible. They were just bound to be in sin, in some way.
The psalmist David realized that the only way to be truly clean was to get God involved. Purity was not something people could attain or maintain on their own. God is needed to wash out our inner dirt, our wrong desires, our bad feelings, our unclean heart. Jeremiah 17:9 reads “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Even when we think we’re doing well, we probably need a spiritual path. We need spiritual hyssop. We need Jesus.
That’s a great way to start your day – clean!