Grace Day

from the Lent 2016 reading plan

Psalm 51:16-17

BY She Reads Truth

Text: Psalm 51:16-17

Take time today to rest in the knowledge of God’s boundless grace and reflect on Scripture below.

You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;
You are not pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.
God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.
-Psalm 51:16-17


Post Comments (99)

99 thoughts on "Grace Day"

  1. Lesley Thomson says:

    Well said, Kelly. Thank you.

  2. Jasmine says:

    I am really struggling with this scripture, I’m not understanding. Help

    1. Jane says:

      Jasmine, I’m no Bible scholar but I believe this scripture is telling me that God desires us to be humble, gracious and broken, so that His glory can shine. He is the only one worthy of our praise. When we are humble and give Him the glory, He delights in our attitude and meekness.

      1. Jill says:

        My Bible notes for vs. 17 days, “God wants a broken spirit and a contrite heart. You can never please God by outward actions — no matter how good — if your inward heart attitude is not right. Are you sorry for your sin? Do you genuinely intend to stop? God is pleased by this kind of humility.”

        Hope that helps a little bit! It’s a great reminder that Christianity is not about us, what we can do, our good deeds, but is all about Jesus and what He did FOR us when He died on the cross.

    2. Vanessa says:

      Hi Jasmine,
      I once read that we don’t clean up our life to come to Jesus. You come to Jesus and He will clean up your life. There’s nothing we can do, no good deed, no sacrifice we have to make, we just come to Him. We come broken, hurt, with a humble heart and let Him restore us. Praying this helps. God bless you!

    3. Kelly says:

      Hey Jasmine! I also used to struggle with the verse/references to it (like “I desire mercy, not sacrifice,” in Matt. 9:13, Hosea 6:6, etc.) but as I’ve studied the Bible as a whole – not just the New Testament, Psalms, and familiar stories – I’ve gained some clarity that I think will help!

      In the Old Testament (specifically Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy) God outlines the cost associated with his people’s sins. Kind of like God saying “If you sin in this way, it will cost you this,” over and over again. These were called sacrifices, and they were animals that were killed at the tabernacle or temple.

      There’s a lot of purpose behind these sacrifices. One of the big ones is that they foreshadow the way that Jesus made himself a sacrifice on the cross. You’ve probably heard people called Jesus the “sacrificial Lamb” or the “Lamb of God.” This is where we get that! We don’t sacrifice lambs today because Jesus was the Truest and Best Sacrifice. Our “once and for all”! He says this himself on the cross: “It’s finished!”

      Another purpose for the sacrifices is that it showed God’s people that their sin had consequences. Imagine the stench of the temple! Animals everywhere! Blood flowing all the time! It was meant to communicate “Hey, your sin is really serious and offensive to God,” and in turn push God’s people to choose God over their sin.

      Unfortunately, often the people would adopt the attitude of “Oh, I could totally choose my sin right now, and I’ll just bring a sacrifice to the temple later.” Not what God was intending! They used it as an excuse to sin, not a reason to choose God instead! (Sound familiar? I find that my own life screams “I’ll just ask God for forgiveness later so…”)

      What this verse is saying is that God doesn’t ultimately want their sacrifices – He wants them to choose to obey him over choosing to sin. And when they do sin, he wants them to be genuinely sorry – not to brush it off and so casually bring animals to the temple as if that’s what God really wanted all along.

      Another way to say this verse would be “If what you wanted was an animal sacrifice or a burnt offering, I would give it. The real point of the sacrifice, what you really want, is for my heart to be broken and remorseful (aka “contrite”) about my sin.”

      I’d encourage you to think about what you personally do to try to make up for your sin. God’s people just brought more and more sacrifices, hoping God would accept them again. An modern example might be serving in your church and nervously hoping that it will convince God to accept you. After that, spend some time remembering the enormous cost that came with your sin, and how Jesus paid that once and for all on the cross.

      Hope that helps!

      1. Andrea Hope says:

        Awesome Kelly! Thanks for sharing that. I think that’s a great explanation.

      2. Kristen says:

        I love this explanation!

  3. Brenda says:

    Obedience is better than sacrifice,. I have been meditating on this truth in God’s word and this passage is another confirmation of this.

  4. Geriel says:

    Thankful… God speaks the truth and I am answering!

  5. Jordan says:

    As I’ve been considering what I can sacrifice for lent… Still. THIS confirmed it all. So thankful God hears me.

    1. Charity says:


  6. Sheretta says:

    Amen. So thankful for unmerited Grace from our Father and Savior!

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