Psalm 51:17 – The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
Brokenness is the true sacrifice which God desires. It is not a sacrifice in Old Testament terms of animals or grains. In New Testament terms, it is not about good deeds. Jesus offered Himself as “the sacrifice.” Jesus became broken for all of us. In His brokenness, I can recognize my own brokenness and need for His saving grace. On the cross, Jesus cried out to His Father and said, “Into Your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46). Some believe that Jesus died more quickly than usually experienced on a cross as a result of a broken heart. He was broken for us, broken over our sins. Jesus is the only sacrifice that fully pleases the Father.
In Psalm 51, David came to understanding that the sacrifice God is waiting to receive is a broken and contrite spirit. Our hearts should be broken over our own sin, and then the sins of others. God is looking to find broken and contrite hearts to work through. Religion is full of self-serving attitudes and fleshly attempts trying to appease God. Many run after religion, trying to get their needs met by God and also hoping that God will accept them. True faith in the living God is rooted in this one thing, “brokenness”! Brokenness will produce humility and a heart desiring to serve.
David concludes this verse with the confident cry, “O God, You will not despise.” God will never turn away from the broken spirit or a contrite heart. Even as David, the king, had to come to this place in his life, so also God’s people must learn of brokenness, hopefully not in the same way David had to. Many in the Lord’s church are filled with self-approval and self-serving attitudes making them vulnerable to the enemy. Brokenness begins with the individual, develops in the congregation, and becomes the spirit of the church throughout a city, which in turn will cause sinners to be converted!
Pray with me for the Spirit of God to deal with our individual heart condition. Pray for your local church community and for the church of your locality. Pray that we will bring to God a “broken and contrite heart.” Claim the salvation of sinners and their conversion to God’s glorious kingdom.