TODAY’S READING: PSALM 51:17-19
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Ps 51:17
Everywhere we go today we hear people talking about the purity of our drinking water; our food - is it organic or grass fed? – and, now, in this new normal of isolation - how pure is the air we’re breathing? Jesus told the crowd and His disciples in Matthew 15:10-11, 16-20 that it’s not what we put into ourselves that makes us impure but rather, what comes out of our mouths. What we drink, eat or breathe cannot cleanse a defiled heart racked with guilt. Moral purity comes only from God’s forgiveness and restoration when we confess our sin to Him.
That’s exactly what David discovered. Like old city walls, his life had crumbled and he needed God to rebuild and restore it. The secret to true and pure worship is a broken heart and a broken spirit. Broken, not by suffering but by a deep realisation of our sin. God does wonders with a broken heart if we give Him all the pieces. David understood that unless he received God’s forgiveness, there would be no peace or joy in his life.
The meaning of the word ‘broken’ is ‘shattered’ so David’s sacrifice to God in verse 17 is a shattered spirit and a bruised heart. When the pride of our hearts is shattered, it brings us to our knees before God.
When did you last bring a shattered spirit and a broken heart to the Lord?
David knew his limitations. He knew he could do nothing to balance God’s scales. All he could do was bring God his brokenness. In our sin, God doesn’t want us to busy ourselves with ‘things’. He really wants our inner being to bow before Him. He wants humble and repentant hearts. Repentance is not about us and our sin but about God’s love and freedom from sin’s power.
What sins are weighing on your heart? What are you trying to cover up with distractions of busyness or good works?
Ephesians 5:15 tells us to be careful to live wisely. The children’s song, “Be careful little eyes what you see” talks about being careful what we see, hear, say and do. David would have done well to heed this advice when the temptation of sin ignited his flesh. Instead of fleeing the rooftop, David lingered and the coal of his heart for God grew cold. Being in the wrong place, seeing what he wasn’t supposed to see and then wanting what wasn’t his, caused his heart to stumble. (2 Samuel 11) Sin has a deceptive beauty. So be careful little eyes what you see, read or watch. Be careful little ears what you hear. Be careful little mouth what you say.
Are you sick of or sick in your sin? Would you like more of God?
The Lord uses David’s brutal honesty to teach us what real worship is all about - broken and contrite hearts freely given to Him. From the lessons he learnt in God’s convicting presence, David knew that broken honesty and raw vulnerability were far more important than religious pretence and that God required genuine worship.
• Do we take sin as seriously as David did? Do we trust in God’s justice and mercy as wildly as David did? Is there anything that you need to bring to the cross where the price of all our sins has already been paid?