You Are Not White As Snow
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” –Psalm 51:7
Hanging on to our sin is a terrible business. When it goes unconfessed, we usually try to double and triple down on it to keep it off the radar. Then we end up with far more than just the initial transgression we try to hide. And something happens to our conscience during our unholy charade. We stop feeling the weight of our sin. We are simply self-blinded to what we’ve done. And in the end, we tragically feel and see nothing.
David was in this position when he received a rebuke from the prophet Nathan. David had slept with his friend’s wife, whom he got pregnant, then tried to cover it up, and in the end, he had his friend killed. How long did David hang onto these sins without confessing them? Long enough for a baby to be born. And long enough to no longer feel their weight.
So Nathan tells David a story about a poor man who owned only a single lamb, which he loved like one of his children. One day his rich neighbor took the poor man’s lamb and cooked it for his guests. David is enraged over this injustice and demands punishment. In fact, David wants the rich man killed. At that moment Nathan unloads four words that utterly crush David. Four words which expose everything David is hiding. As David calls for the execution of the rich lamb thief, Nathan responds by saying:
“You are the man!”
Nathan confronting David is a helpful narrative picture of what the Law does to all of us. It calls a thing what it is. It exposes the heart. It accuses us—every time.