I can’t get over Psam 51:17! My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
You know God is talking to you through specific Scripture when He keeps bringing it up and it’s incredibly encouraging every time. I love meditating on Scripture. Obviously, I’ve been meditating on Psalm 51:17 in the context of how lament is worship to God.
LAMENT (expressing or mourning over grief, sorrow, or pain) IS WORSHIP, because in our lament to God, we are expressing that we cannot handle the situation and that He must fix it. Though it may not look like it in the moment, this is an act of Trust. Going to God in tears and mourning, giving Him our brokenness, is an act of Trust. Even if He is our last resort and we’ve tried everything else to satisfy/attempt to fix our brokenness, He is still pleased in our act of GIVING HIM our broken and contrite heart. (Psalm 51:17)
David had a depth of understanding this Truth. Did you know that when David was moving the Ark of the Covenant, he stopped to sacrifice not just one, but TWO animals!? He sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. Not just once….but every. six. steps. Can you imagine stopping every 6 steps to make an altar and kill two animals to make a sacrifice? We can barely handle stopping for a bathroom break on a 2 hour road trip!
David and the people traveled with the ark of the covenant from the house of Obed-Edom to Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 6:12) According to estimated locations, this trip would have been approximately 30 minutes by car. Walking this trip would, obviously, take much longer.
One step. Two steps. Three steps. Four steps. Five steps. Six steps. Build an altar, kill two animals. One step. Two steps. Three steps. Four steps. Five steps. Six steps. Build an altar, kill two animals. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Can you imagine the trail this would leave behind you? You would be able to look back and see altars upon altars upon altars of bloody sacrifices.
David stopped every six steps to build an altar. To kill not one, but TWO animals. David, the man who was familiar with sacrifice, knew what God found acceptable. David sacrificed his animals, his time, his journey, his resources, and also, his broken and contrite heart. Yet, David knew that the sacrifice God would not despise was brokenness. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
David was well-acquainted with brokenness, and he expressed this well through lamenting. He lamented in the Psalms. He lamented through music. He lamented through poetry. He lamented through actions. He mourned, fasted, and laid face down on the ground all night when his son was sick. (2 Samuel 12:15-17) He danced so hard that his clothes came off. (2 Samuel 6:14) His acts of lamenting are recorded many times throughout Scripture, and STILL he was a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22)
The man who was “after God’s own heart” was well-acquainted with lament worship. David was pleasing to God. Why? Not because he was “happy” all the time or because he always had a “praise Jesus” or a “Hallelujah” coming from his mouth. He was a man after God’s own heart, because He did what God wanted him to do. (Acts 13:22)
He gave God his broken spirit and his broken and contrite heart, and He trusted that God would not despise him for it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart You, God, will not despise. – Psalm 51:17
Make us like David – joyfully sacrificing everything we have for You. Teach us to lament in worship. Amen.