Friday, March 15

Friday, March 15  

Scripture: Psalm 51: 13-19

 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
       and sinners will turn back to you. 

 14 Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
       the God who saves me,
       and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 

 15 O Lord, open my lips,
       and my mouth will declare your praise. 

 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
       you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 

 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
       a broken and contrite heart,
       O God, you will not despise. 

 18 In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;
       build up the walls of Jerusalem. 

 19 Then there will be righteous sacrifices,
       whole burnt offerings to delight you;
       then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Some thoughts:

     Earlier in this psalm David confessed his sin and focused on his guilt and his desire for the joy of salvation to return. He wanted the Holy Spirit to remain with him. Did you notice how this portion begins? The “then” refers us back to what was just written. David wants to teach others so they may benefit from his sad experience. Rebelling and rejecting God’s laws brings separation and disaster. After moving through all his thoughts and feelings, David comes to the place of naming his sin of having murdered Uriah and asking God’s forgiveness. The naming of sin . . . even audibly at times can be very helpful. The “shedding of blood” is also an expression to include any injustice toward another, not simply his murdering of Uriah.

     Here King David writes of his return to joy in the Lord. His mouth is again open to praising God. He makes a beautiful distinction. David had brought hundreds of sacrifices. The burnt offering was a type of sacrifice for atonement, the forgiveness of sin. It also represented the giving of one’s whole self to the Lord. From the early sacrifices of Cain and his bother Abel, God’s words to Cain were, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” The communion of the worshiper and the Lord was the central significant factor. While offering of the Old Testament sacrifice was necessary and of a significance of the first order, the whole point was the heart of the worshiper. Cain’s heart was dark with respect to the Lord, his brother’s, humble.

     Have you noticed the qualities of the heart God is looking for? A truthful heart, a humble heart, a transparent heart, a relentless heart. Honestly, how truthful, humble, transparent, and relentless are you with the Lord?  As you pray, ask the Lord to reveal his perspective on your heart.

Music: “Psalm 95 ‘Come Let Us’” Half a Mile

Prayer: Take, Lord, all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my whole will. You have given me all that I have, all that I am, and I surrender all to your divine will, that you dispose of me. Give me only your love and your grace. With this I am rich enough, and I have no more to ask.                                                                       -Ignatius Loyola 1491-1556