A broken heart and a contrite heart is the sacrifice God desires.

Meditating the Word of God – 12th November

The verse for today is from Psalm 51:17. We have it here from a few versions of the Bible.

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God
. (version NLT)

The fountain of your pleasure is found
in the sacrifice of my shattered heart before you.
You will not despise my tenderness
as I bow down humbly at your feet.
(version TPT)

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (version KJV)

My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise. (version AMPC)

We clean a mess, repair a broken vessel, sometimes replace it with a new vessel.

In today’s scripture passage, we see that the Lord values most is a broken and contrite heart. The Hebrew word for heart in this context means inner man, will, mind. Similarly, contrite means crushed.

King David had sinned. But when told about his sin, understanding his shortcomings, he wrote this beautiful psalm. Earlier in the psalm, verse 14, says the Lord does not delight in a sacrifice or a burnt offering, rather He’s pleased with a broken and contrite heart.

We are aware of our brokenness when we recognise that we have very many shortcomings, and it’s only the Lord God who can mend us. It’s only His Grace, His Mercy which can make us whole again. It’s only a total surrender to Him, to His will that can change our dire situation.

2 Corinthians 7:10 puts it this way: For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (version KJV) . Whereas the NLT version expresses the same verse as For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

Understanding the gravity of sin and the abundant love of God is important. We don’t deserve God’s mercy, yet we desire that abundant mercy, since only that can change us. Remembering the vastness of God’s compassion towards us is important. In Psalms 51:1, we have, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your loving-kindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.”

Isaiah 57:15 says that the Lord’s presence is with the humble, restoring their crushed spirit and reviving them. The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.

One sign of reaching the place of acceptance by God is a willingness to do anything and everything the Lord asks.