“For You desire not sacrifice; else I would give it.  You delight not in burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”

Psalm 51:16-17

When we realize this, we’ll know He’s not hard to please or hard-to-get.

“What do You want from me?!?”

That’s the question that so often rises up from the heart of one who’s frustrated when everything’s falling apart—especially if he, like Job, has been trying to serve the Lord the best he knows how.

Yet, in today’s Manna we find what God wants, laid out in a very succinct way:

He simply wants us to love and serve Him with a heart that’s usable and moldable in His Hands.  And, this can only happen with the “surrendered” heart.

It’s interesting that David says “For You desire not sacrifice; else I would give it.  You delight not in burnt offering.”  The natural question that arises from these statements is “Why, then, did God instruct Moses and the people to implement such an elaborate sacrificial system if He doesn’t desire or delight in them?”

The answer is found in the meaning of the two words “desire” and “delight.”

The Hebrew word “chaphets” is used for “desire” and also means “to incline toward, bend down to, be pleased with, find pleasure in, etc.,” while “ratsah” is used for “delight” and basically means “to satisfy a debt, be acceptable to, approve of, consent to, show favor to, etc.”

Thus, it reveals those things which deeply touch God’s heart or “rings His bell,” if you will.

He is not impressed with ritualistic worship where folks simply go through the motions or check the squares; neither is He moved by monotonous, perfunctory prayers or acts of service done through drudgery, not delight.

A “broken (Heb. ‘shabar’—‘to burst, crushed into pieces, torn, etc.’)  spirit” is a humble spirit.  And, a “broken and contrite (Heb. ‘dakah’—‘to collapse, crouch, crumble, bruised, humble, smitten, etc.’) heart” is one that’s been through the fire. . .pummeled by toils and trials   . . .yet is still supple in the Savior’s Hands.

Simply put, God’s Heart is moved by the heart that’s been broken through sorrow—whether it be sin or suffering—and still runs to Him as the prodigal son did into the arms of his rejoicing father (Lk. 15:11-24).  He loves us so much, Pilgrim, and hates to see how far we stray and how sin deceives us into thinking He is unkind, unloving or unconcerned.

As the old Gospel song says, “Does Jesus care when I’ve said goodbye, To the dearest on earth to me?  When my sad heart aches ‘till it nearly breaks, Is it ought to Him, does He see?  Oh yes, He cares!  I know He cares!  His heart is touched with my grief.  When the days are weary, The long night dreary, I know my Savior cares.”  Hallelujah!!  Give the Lord what He wants today; give Him every part of your life in sweet, simple surrender.

May 10, 2011