Judge me favorably, O YHWH,
because I have walked with integrity
and I have trusted you without wavering.
It’s the day before Passover. The children run through the house, pleased that the days of cleaning are over. Tomorrow is a special day, no school and no work, gathering with friends.
I wipe my hands on my apron and retwist the knot in my hair, since everything is falling out of the clip under my dusty bandana.
I look around my spotless kitchen. My critical eye judges everything in sight. The kids will be back soon, looking everywhere to see if we missed a crumb or bit of yeast. They think it’s fun to find a crumb we’ve overlooked. But we worked so hard the last few days, and I’m tired. I hope we got it all out.
Examine me, O YHWH, and test me.
Look closely into my heart and mind.
That’s what spring cleaning is. Examination of places we don’t look at any other time of year. Testing, with a white glove if you will, to be sure that no layers of grease or dust remain, and certainly no forbidden yeast.
There are places that we wish we didn’t have to clean.
We’d rather just skip cleaning out behind the stove. Or pulling out the produce drawers in the fridge. Who’s going to look in the back corners of my closet shelves? Would yeast really be hiding behind all the books on my shelves?
But we examine and test — and wipe and clean. We look closely into every part.
I see your mercy in front of me.
I walk in the light of your truth.
I did not sit with liars,
and I will not be found among hypocrites.
I have hated the mob of evildoers
and will not sit with wicked people.
Some spots need extra light. We just can’t see what that blob under the couch is. It’s probably just a sock… but it has an odd shape. Kids, bring a flashlight. Let’s shine the light back there, yes, to the far left.
Oh, gross. Is that half a muffin? What is it doing back there? I thought I told you not to sit with food on the couch!
You sat with your friends there? And you got silly? But I told you not to… remember?
But you did it anyway? Because your friends wanted you to? Oh, Honey….
I will wash my hands in innocence.
I will walk around your altar, O YHWH,
so that I may loudly sing a hymn of thanksgiving
and tell about all your miracles.
Passover night is here. The children are gathered around the table with us. We start with a prayer and a blessing over a cup of grape juice. We wash our hands together. We ask questions. We remember the mighty miracles that our Father did, when He delivered His people from Egypt.
O YHWH, I love the house where you live,
the place where your glory dwells.
The great and mighty Temple where our Father lived was destroyed in 70 A.D. So where does my Father live? As I look around the table, at each sweet face in my home, I wonder where the One I worship lives.
Of course, “The earth is YHWH’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters” (Psalm 24:1). But yet He decreed for a tabernacle, then a temple, to be built for Him.
I wish we could celebrate Passover in Jerusalem, in “the place where your glory dwells.” I wish I could see the splendor of His house with all the other travelers.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
But yet, I know that He purchased a new home, with the unfathomable price of the blood of His Son, and He will only dwell in a pure, clean, and set-apart temple.
I pray His home in me is clean…
Do not sweep away my soul along with hardened sinners
or my life along with bloodthirsty people.
Evil schemes are in their hands.
Their right hands are full of bribes.
But I walk with integrity.
Rescue me, and have pity on me.
So my Father sweeps the corners of His house as well? However, I know that He will “pass over” me, because I have repented of my sin and trusted in faith in the Sacrificed Passover Lamb, His Son Yeshua (Jesus).
But I examine myself. “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:27-28).
My feet stand on level ground.
I will praise YHWH with the choirs in worship (Psalm 26, GW).
Our family isn’t exactly a “choir,” but as we gather around the piano at the end of our Passover meal, singing songs of praise to our Father, I feel like I’m in a choir worthy of the Temple itself.
I worship in song. My feet are on level ground. My heart is clean, and I am loved.