I often wake up in the morning feeling like I just need renewal, like I need grace and a fresh start. And always, always, always, in my head, the refrain comes from Jon Foreman and Psalm 51:
Would you create in me a clean heart, O God? Restore to me the joy of your salvation. Wash me white as snow, and I will be made whole.
Usually, I wash things so that they will be clean, not whole. Psalm 51 actually doesn’t say “made whole”, but instead it uses multiple metaphors to highlight the extent of the cleanness God provides. So, as I was thinking about that this morning, I was a little bit disappointed in Jon for getting it wrong.
But then I remembered something my Old Testament professor said, and it made more sense. He was talking about how the word in Hebrew that is used for Adam’s job in the garden of Eden, (usually translated as something related to work) actually means “rest.” Then, he further shook up my understanding of scripture by explaining that the word for “holy” actually refers to being complete, whole, lacking nothing. Who knew how much the Hebrew words could change things?
David was asking to be made holy in Psalm 51. He was asking to be washed so that he could be right with God, an action that would make him whole.
So Jon was right.