We’ll All Be Broken [Noval]

clay-pot

Proverbs 29:1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Warnings and Instructions

29:1 A man who hardens his neck after much reproof
Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.

23  A man’s pride will bring him low,

But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

Psalm 51:15-17

15 O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
 We’re all going to be broken-confronted with our sin and weakness, made to look into the mirror at the content of our own souls.  The choice we have is whether to do it voluntarily or involuntarily.  Will we humble ourselves, bow the neck and meekly acknowledge our sins, our weaknesses, our needs?  Or will God, in His severe mercy, have to force the issue, dragging us kicking and screaming into the light of His penetrating gaze?
David did it both ways.  In Psalm 139 he wrote:

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

He knew the futility and destructiveness of trying to hide from God:

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and [b]when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.

 
And yet, when he failed with Bathsheba, descending into adultery (actually, more like rape, considering their relative stations) and murder, he tried to hide, covering things up and lie (most of all to himself) about his guilt. 
It didn’t go well.  I’ve aways suspected he penned Psalm 32 to express the agony and shame of those months of hiding:

How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit!

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.  

Our God is a Redeemer and a Rescuer. He doesn’t let His children languish forever in guilt and shame and hiding without offering a way of escape.  Here’s Nathan in 2nd Samuel  12:

Why have you despised the word of the Lord by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. 10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 

Ouch!! Fortunately, David’s heart was still tender enough to allow him to break.  Psalm 51 is the beautiful, poignant expression of that brokenness:

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

 

In this matter, David chose the hard road to brokenness.  It almost destroyed him.  There’s a better option.  It’s still brokenness, but it’s vulnerable and proactive.  We take the initiative:

1 John 1:6-9  New American Standard Bible (NASB)
If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
James 5:13-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

 

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

James 4:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

 

10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. 

We’ll all be broken.  Here’s the choice we’ll face: will we embrace it or resist it?

 

 
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