and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.”
There was a tragic news story the other day involving an intoxicated woman who ran over and killed a law enforcement officer. As she was being filmed while being placed under arrest, she sobbingly exclaimed a rather pretentious apology. She realized her mistake but she just wanted to be spared of the consequences. She didn’t necessarily feel sorrowful for the person or family she had aggrieved. She was sorry that she got caught. We can probably all remember a time when we did something wrong and apologized because we wanted to escape the consequences or felt bad only because we got caught. But how often do we feel true remorse or sorrow simply because of who we have offended? The greater question is, when was the last time we were truly broken over our sin because we offended God? Even when we wrong others, we are ultimately sinning against God.
In Psalm 51, David paints a portrait of what true sorrow and brokenness looks like. He confesses his sin against God and pleads with God to show mercy on him. He wasn’t just trying to escape the consequences and we can see that here in verse 14- “Deliver me from the guilt”. David felt the weight of his sin and was burdened with unbearable guilt because of who he sinned against and he cried out to God to cleanse him, forgive him, and restore him, so that joy could be restored to his soul and he could praise God for who God is.
David really messed up. I mean like really bad messed up. But the good news is there’s absolutely no guilt great enough and no sin big enough that God’s grace can’t cover. And through David’s prayer, we see how God can restore joy to our brokenness. Let me tell you…there’s absolutely no sin in your life- past, present, or future that can ever escape the glory of God’s forgiveness and grace. BUT…we have to come to God with broken spirits and contrite hearts. God is not interested in pretentious and shallow apologies. God is not interested in us going to church to pay penance or trying to atone through our works, because no amount of church attendance or charity given will ever restore our brokenness and make us right with God. God doesn’t care about our attempts to bargain and make a deal with Him through our words. I, myself, am guilty of getting caught and trying to make a plea bargain with God – “God, if you’ll just get me out of this mess, I will serve you.” More than our words of sacrifice and offerings, God wants us to come to him and confess our brokenness and humbly offer our lives to Him. When we come to Him with broken spirits and contrite hearts, God WILL blot out our transgressions. God WILL cover us in His mercy and grace. God WILL restore joy to our souls. Do you believe that?
Humble yourself and come to God broken and I promise you He will restore you and give you abundant joy.
Use the HEAR method (see below) as you spend time with today’s passage and consider the following questions:
- What guilt are you currently living with?
- Who have you wronged?
- What have you been caught up in?
- What sin in your life do you seem to not be able to shake off?
- Are you sorrowful and broken by your sin?