Friday, April 1, 2016

PSALM 51 continued 


"Deliver me from
bloodguiltiness, O God,
(Uriah, 'his blood cries for vengeance
against him; and nothing but the mere mercy of God
can wipe this blood from his conscience.' Adam Clarke)
Thou God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing
of Thy righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Thy praise.
For Thou dost not delight in sacrifice,
otherwise I would give it;
Thou art not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God
are a broken spirit;
a broken and a contrite heart,
O God, Thou wilt not despise."
(verses 14-17)

Guilt closes lips.
"To those who are tongue-tied by reason of guilt the assurance of the forgiveness of their sins says effectually, 'Ephphatha' -- Be opened; and, when the lips are opened, what should they speak but the praises f God." (Matthew Henry) 
If our lips are closed,
is there unconfessed sin?

"'For Thou desirest not sacrifice'  '"Crimes, like mine, are not to be expiated by any sacrifices that the Law requires; nor hast Thou appointed in the Law any sacrifices to atone for deliberate murder and adultery: if Thou hadst, I would cheerfully have given them to Thee...
None, from my case, can ever presume;
none, from my case, need ever despair."
(Adam Clarke)

What the prophet Micah says, could speak to David's sin...
"With what shall I come to the Lord
And bow myself before the God on high?
Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings,
With yearling calves?
Does the Lord take delight
in thousands of rams,
In ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I present my first-born
for my rebellious acts,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
(Like David losing his son by Bathsheba for the price of his sin;
while God gave His Son, who knew no sin, His first-born, for our rebellious acts.)
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice,
to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?"
(Micah 6:6-8; verse 8, the Jewish 'Sham'mah')

"Broken spirit,
broken and contrite heart."
These are the sacrifices of God.

I have a few friends there.
There is something Godlike, closest to the heart of God in suffering,
in broken-heartedness.

God did sacrifice His one and only Son,
His only begotten,
in a cruel death
to bring about our atonement.
This is, just to say,
God knows the very essence
of a broken spirit and a broken heart.
Since God is love, His love was costly:
in pain, He watched His beloved's suffering,
sorrowed Himself for the sorrow that sin cost Him,
most of all, and the sky turned black;
Thus, as someone once said, "to love is to suffer."
Is there any true love that is free of this component?

"Thou requirest that the heart and soul should deeply feel the transgression and turn to Thee with the fullest compunction and remorse.  These words are very expressive (in the original language)... the same as our word 'shiver, to break into pieces, and the heart broken all to pieces, to reduce into splinters,' ... The spirit broken all to pieces, and the heart broken all to pieces, stamped and beaten out, are the sacrifices...Thou wilt not despise.  We may now suppose that God has shone upon his soul, healed his broken spirit, and renewed and removed his broken and distracted heart."
(Adam Clarke)

"It is a sharp work wrought there, no less than the breaking of the heart;
not in despair but in necessary humiliation and sorrow for sin.
It is a heart pliable to the word of God,
a heart subdued and brought into obedience;
it is a heart that is tender...and trembles at God's word.
The breaking of Christ's body for sin is the only atonement,
for no sacrifice but that could take away sin;
but the breaking of our hearts for sin is a sacrifice of acknowledgment."
(Matthew Henry) 

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