The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise (Psalm 51:17 KJV 1900)
A broken and humble heart is a treasure in the eyes of God. So what is a broken and contrite heart? This verse is often misinterpreted and misapplied, especially when we are going through hard times. A broken and contrite heart in this context and in similar verses in the scripture is not referring to those who are hurting with the emotional pain of life’s circumstances such as financial stress, relationship break-ups, etc.
The Apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 7:10 teaches us that there is a difference between worldly sorrow and what the Lord calls godly sorrow. Worldly sorrows are the sorrows or griefs we endure from the daily heartaches of life. Yes, God has also made provisions for emotional healing, but this is different from godly sorrow which is a heart that is broken before God because of sin. That is, a man or woman who has sinned against God and is deeply penitent and sorrowful and breaks down before Him seeking His forgiveness and reconciliation.
A classic example of a contrite and broken heart is that of David seen in Psalms 51 after committing adultery with Bathsheba. He did not defend his sin. He did seek to explain why he did what he did. He broke down before God. You might be tempted to say “well, it is David, a man after God’s heart.” There is another classic example from one of the most wicked and ungodly kings in Israel—Ahab. After God pronounced judgment upon him, his response of penitence was so remarkable that the Lord said to Elijah
Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house (1 Ki. 21:29 KJV)
The LORD loves the broken and contrite in heart. If there is one thing that is worse than sin itself, it is the pride in sin. It is a man or woman who defies the Word of God, takes pride in it, and rejects His Word of rebuke. These are the hardened hearts or stiff necks. Sadly, this is the generation we are living in right now, and it is getting worse. Many people defend their sins, even take pride in it and may take offense at anyone who tries to rebuke them. It is the arrogance and pride of sin that characterizes the perilous or difficult times to come in these end days. This should not be your story. Rather, be sensitive and responsive to God’s rebuke and do not allow your heart to become hardened or your neck to become stiff( Deut. 31:28).
What matters more to God AFTER we sin—is it our sin or our response to His rebuke?
APPLY THE WORD
I have a straightforward test to check the status of your heart before God, whether it is soft or rocky hard. How do you often respond to correction in general? Think about that and ask the Lord to help you where you see a need.
Please pray that the Lord will help us maintain a soft heart before Him while we continue to live here on the earth in this body of flesh.