06 Sep “a broken and contrite heart” – 9/4/2020
Today, together, we speak much of Psalm 51, David’s heart-felt prayer of confession, and of confidence in God’s forgiving grace. You know the story: Nathan came to David to confront him with the terrible sin to which David had fallen, resulting in the death of a soldier, by design, and of a child, as the wage of sin is death.
In his confession David realizes that although people bore the consequence of his sin, the sin was “against You, You only have I sinned.” (V4) In his confidence in God’s restorative power, even of the unimaginable sinner, David cries out for the creation within himself of a clean heart, one not burdened with the bloodguilt of sin. (V10) The psalm is evidence of David’s deep faith in the Lord: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” (V12)
So long ago, in the Old Testament days of animal sacrifice – the spilling of blood to assuage the guilt of God’s sinful people – David realizes “You will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it.” (V16) Instead, David understands this:
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and
contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” ( V17)
That’s the point of our spoken, and silent, confession before God. We examine ourselves, we recognize our sin. After all, with God’s Law written upon our hearts, we certainly know the sins we commit. That’s called a conscience, isn’t it? That realization of ourselves at our worst drives us to our knees before God, praying as did David for release, for restoration, for renewal. And we are assured of His grace and forgiveness through the sacrifice of the perfect lamb, His only Son, our Lord, Jesus, the Christ.