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. (Psalm 51:16-17)
What do you give to someone who has everything? Ever wonder what you can do for God? What sweet and delightful thing can you give Him for all His endless mercy and kindness to you? What gift would He accept? After all, He really has everything He needs. This verse tells us the wrong answer. Sacrifices and burnt offerings are not what God is after. Outward ‘going through the motions’ does not delight God. Even giving to Him when it hurts doesn’t make Him happy – if it is all accompanied by a proud and upright heart. It is impossible to judge, but how many people show up at Church because ‘it’s the right thing to do’? How many give money to God and make sacrifices for God because deep down inside they know He has given everything to them – but their hearts are still intact and their spirits are still proud?We can’t judge these things but God can. Here’s what God will always delight in and always be very pleased with: repentance. Here is what Newton says about repentance: “Repentance is in every view so desirable, so necessary, so suited to honouring God that I seek that above all; the tender heart, the broken and contrite spirit are to me far above all the joys that I could hope for in this veil of tears. I long to be in my proper place, my hand upon my mouth and my mouth in the dust. I feel this is safe ground. Here I cannot err. I am sure that whatever God may despise, He will not despise a broken and contrite heart.” David says the same thing in these verses. Its not that God enjoys our pain or our misery. The reason He delights in a broken heart and a repentant heart is so that He can mend it again. And mend it better than it ever was. God delights in us. Not the ‘us’ we have become but the ‘us’ He can make us into. God looks at us and sees what we could become in Jesus and because He delights in Jesus He will always receive those who are broken and ready to be remoulded in the image of His Son whom He loves. Give God a broken spirit. Give God a broken and repentant heart and He will be delighted to receive it from you and He will give it back a thousand times better than it was. PRAY that God the Spirit will break your spirit and ask Him to give you a broken heart over your sin. Then plead with God to remould your heart and make it brand new in Jesus’ image. Pray that He would renew a right spirit within us!