31 July 2008

Broken Heart – 11.2.07

Good morning, all, and God bless. I want to take a further look at a verse that Brother James covered in his lesson last night...

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51:17)

Here's a question for us to consider. When the Holy Spirit uses the preacher or a friend or a parent or a teacher or the word of God itself to put His finger on and rebuke some sin in our lives, what is our response?

In 2 Samuel 12, God sent Nathan the prophet to put his finger in David's face and rebuke him for the sins of chapter 11 (adultery with Bathsheeba and the murder of her husband Urijah). David responded by confessing, "I have sinned against the Lord." But Psalm 51 reveals that his response included more than a mere admission of wrongdoing. David's great prayer of repentance exhibits "a broken and contrite heart."

Contrite is defined as "broken-hearted for sin; deeply affected with grief and sorrow for having offended God; humble; penitent." David wasn't just sorry he had been found out. He wasn't just trying to get out of the consequences of his sin by making a quick confession. His repentance was true because it stemmed from a heart that was truly grieved over the fact that he had offended God (see Psalm 32:1-5).

Now, there was no sacrifice David could offer under the old testament law to be cleared of the sins he had committed; they were punishable by death. But the great blessing is that God blesses and accepts the repentance of a broken heart. Consider the following passages:

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. (2 Corinthians 7:10-11)

The Lord is night unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

Another illustration of broken-hearted repentance comes to mind. The Bible speaks in Luke 18 of a publican who went down to the temple to pray and would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

God knows we're pathetic, sinful creatures. The Bible says that He knows our frame and remembers we're only dust (Psalm 103:14). So when God puts His finger on some sin in our lives, may we humble ourselves before Him and be truly grieved over our offense! But let's not be afraid to go before Him and deal with it. The very reason He sends conviction is so we can come before Him and take care of business. So we can come before Him with an honest heart, and confess and forsake that sin. When we do so, we'll find a God Who is eager to extend His hand of mercy (Proverbs 28:13). Praise His name!

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