“You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altar” Psalm 51:17-19.
King David had everything he wanted but yet it wasn’t enough. He was living the dream in the eyes of others but in his own eyes he grumbled and groaned. Ungrateful and bored he sought after another man’s wife and went from bored to broken in no time. King David wrote this psalm after his heart was broken. He understood that he had lots of monetary things he could place on God’s altar, but God wasn’t interested in his tithe and sacrifices. He was more interested in his heart, which had become a place without compassion for his fellow man. David understood that the only way back to restoration was through a broken heart and spirit. That was the price for God’s altar in this particular season in David’s life.
I don’t care how seasoned we are as Christians we all have times in our spiritual lives when our hearts become distant. This distance can lead to sin and destruction, and neither tithe nor service is the offering God desires. Those things are wonderful but they were never meant to take center stage in our relationship with God. Our service and offerings are the overflow of our worship through our relationship with God, not a guarantee of the favor of God. God always desires fellowship first, things second. The most precious gift we can ever lay on the altar is a humble heart, surrendered to God in all circumstances.
He is our Father and wants us to love and delight in Him setting aside all of the formalities of everything else in life. When we come to Him in our broken and contrite circumstances it gives Him the space to comfort and restore us…to parent and nurture us…things that we cannot buy or obtain through our own doing. We must make space for grace...
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