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THE ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise, PSA 51:17.
The Psalm before us for consideration demonstrates the penitence of David after he fell into the horrible sin of defiling Bathsheba and killing Uriah. It establishes the truth of what we read in PRO 18:14, "The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?"
Until the Lord sent Nathan to reprove David, his conscience was seared as with a hot iron. However, as soon as the light of what he had done was brought home upon his heart by the Holy Spirit’s work, his only plea was "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions," PSA 51:1.
After David had his eyes opened to understand the depravity of his human nature he confessed, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom," PSA 51:5-6.
As the Holy Spirit gives spiritual eyes to see our corrupt nature, there comes an urgent desire to be delivered from the service of sin. David pleaded, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me," PSA 51:7,10.
The word "sacrifice" spoken in our text when more fully translated from the original Hebrew means, "to slaughter the flesh." David says in our text, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise," PSA 51:17.
The Lord says in PRO 8:13, "The fear of the LORD [that is a holy and reverent respect for the Lord and His perfect will] is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."
Our Heavenly Father received His ultimate glory by the humble obedience of His only begotten Son. "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross," PHI 2:8.
Our Saviour’s reward for such humble obedience was that He should sit as king upon the throne of the hearts of the humble and contrite ones. Cf. ISA 57:15. Such humble obedience is what the Holy Spirit instills in the heart of true believers.
David said, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise...Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness…." PSA 51:17& 19. The Lord has no pleasure in any sacrifice without humble obedience and contrition.
When King Saul disobeyed God’s command to offer sacrifice, "Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king," 1-SA 15:22-23.
A humble contrition, i.e., an obedient walk in His will, revealed in God’s Word, is a pleasing sacrifice unto the Lord. "Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil?…He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" MIC 6:7-8.
Notice how David learned to realize that no form of sacrifice was acceptable outside a right Spirit. "For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" PSA 51:16-17.
Our Saviour says to His humble bride, "Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes…." The eye is the conduit to let rivers flow from a broken heart. Those weeping eyes that flow from a humble and a contrite heart ravish the heart of our Saviour! Amen.
Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
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