Psalm 51:7-8. You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
When David addresses God as desiring David’s (our) faithfulness from the womb, this reveals God with the very highest standards from even before we were born. It is unclear what faithfulness to God looks like in the womb. But perhaps that is the point, that our God has the very highest and encompassing standards, and will not wait for a moment to be wasted in growing into that state of faithfulness. I was reminded of a fellow father who told me that his kids were “his wife’s until they could talk” and then he would have a role in the child’s life. That might have been something funny to say, but I was saddened to think that some years of a child were, as he told it, filler years not worthy or capable of a relationship full of gestures, hugs, smiles, tears and a thousand other parts of those pre-speech years. God does not wait to be conjured into relationship with us through our words or readiness but is always present, always in relationship with us. It is we who fail to notice the immense reality of God’s presence in our lives. I also think that God is revealed to be immeasurably patient – God does not demand our faithfulness or even judge us against the standard of perfect faithfulness. God simply desires our faithfulness and seeks to enlarge that faithfulness through teaching us wisdom. And when we are not faithful, God’s love is always there to provide the Hyssop-fresh clean of forgiveness and another opportunity to grow in relationship. School is always in session – what did we learn today?