SONG: White as Snow


By Jon Foreman © 2008
As heard on the Winter EP

David is one of my favorite characters of the Old Testament.

Over and over again, David is described as a man after God’s heart. He is born into a relatively poor farming family, and through his trust in God, dies as the most beloved King in all of Israel’s history. But his ascent to power and fame is not what I find compelling in his story. Instead, what makes David such a towering figure is his unwavering trust in God through his successes, failures, fears, and even his sinful actions.

Psalm 51 is pretty well known. We sing bits of it through the Jon Foreman song, White As Snow, which takes all its words from this psalm. It was written in response to one of the most selfish and callous series of sins committed by any person regarded as a hero in the Bible: David sleeps with a married woman (Bathsheeba), who becomes pregnant as a result. After failed attempts to cover up his sin, David eventually resorts to killing Bathsheeba’s husband, Uriah, who is a faithful soldier in David’s army. Nathan, a prophet at the time, is sent by God to confront David about these evil acts. Psalm 51 is David’s repentant cry to God to save him from his sin.

While the original circumstances for writing the psalm are intensely personal, it proves to be incredibly instructional in what true, humble confession looks like. Through the psalm, our hearts plead with God to take our sin from us, to blot it out, because we cannot handle it. We weren’t designed to be able to interact with it, and only he can take it from us. Our hearts cry for his forgiveness, for restoration. Our faith in his forgiveness is encouraged through the reminders of God’s character the psalm provides.  It is a beautiful cry for help from a perfect and loving God in the midst of our own imperfections. It is a psalm of trust in God’s unfailing love and salvation.

David makes many mistakes throughout his reign. Despite his power, success, and love of God, his life is not an easy one; but, it is certainly a faithful one. Despite his many shortcomings, David is always described as a man after God’s heart. He responds to both the good and evil of himself and the world around him with trust in God. I want to emulate his humble repentance, and Psalm 51 proves to be a beautiful gift that helps me do just that.


Categories: From The Pastors, Music