No Sin so Severe

One day, Queen Victoria visited a paper mill, and the owner showed her through the plant.

When they got to the rag room, and she saw the filthy rags out of which paper is made, the Queen exclaimed, “How can these dirty things ever be made so white?”

“We have a chemical process of great power which can take even the color out of these rags,” he replied.

A few days after her visit to the paper mill, the Queen found lying on her writing desk some of the most beautifully polished writing paper she had ever seen. On each sheet were printed the letters of her name and her picture.

There was also a note from the paper mill owner asking her to accept a sample of his work, and assuring her that every sheet was manufactured out of the dirty rags she had seen.

After his awful sin, David prayed in Psalm 51:2 and 7, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, andcleanse me from my sin. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.”

In the Hebrew language, there are two different words to express the different kinds of washing, and they are always used with the strictest propriety.

One signifies the kind of washing that pervades the substance of the thing washed, and cleanses it thoroughly.

The other expresses that kind of washing which only cleanses the surface of a substance which the water cannot penetrate.

The first is applied to the washing of clothes; the second is used for washing some part of the body.

David, seeking to be completely cleansed and justified, by a beautiful and strong metaphor, uses the first word in both verses. He sought and received complete forgiveness.


“All sin is mortal in the sense that it deserves death, but no sin is so severe that it can destroy the grace of justification” (John Calvin).

Pastor David Arnold
Gulf Coast Worship Center

© 2013 Rev. David Arnold Ministries, All rights reserved.