Lenten Reader | Day 3

A Broken Spirit

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

- Psalm 51:10-12,15-17
Create in me a Clean Heart was a praise song by one of my favorite gospel singers, Keith Green. His inspiration for the song came from Psalm 51:10-12.

This Psalm was written by David after Nathan had informed him of Gods’ judgment against him because of his adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband Uriah killed.
David confesses his sin and asks God for forgiveness and restoration. He wants the joy of his salvation returned and a willing spirit to strengthen him. David knew that God would not be pleased with a sacrifice or burnt offerings. The only thing that would be pleasing to God was a broken spirit and a contrite heart.

When we have sinned against God, we all need to ask for forgiveness. David is saying that sins like his are not to be forgiven by animal sacrifices to atone for deliberate murder and adultery. He realizes he is at the mercy of God as his judge and mercy must come from His grace and not from His law. The law could only kill. It could not forgive transgressions or give life unless perfect obedience to it was rendered.

There are two sacrifices that are always acceptable and pleasing to God. A broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart. God accepts these because of His infinite compassion, mercy, and grace, which are promised to all who believe and trust in Him.

I am so thankful that we serve a God who, if we go to Him with a broken spirit and contrite heart, is willing to forgive and restore us. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross (Col. 2:13-14). PRAISE GOD!

If you have fallen out of fellowship with God, go to Him today with a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart. He will forgive and restore you.

- Steve Morton
Father, I’m sorry for the ways in which I sin against you. Forgive all of my sins and make my heart pure. Give me a broken and contrite heart that you will not despise.