We saw this plaque in the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. The Cherokee Indians recognized the need to have their sins forgiven and cleansed.
After David sinned with Bathsheba, he expressed a similar desire for forgiveness and cleansing. In Psalm 51:1-2, 7, David wrote,
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! … Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Washing in a river may make our bodies clean, but only God can cleanse our hearts.