Broken Bones Dance! :Psalm 51

Day 23/30

Psalm 51 (the Message) - the breakdown

"Generous in love - God give grace!  Huge in mercy - wipe out my bad record!
Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry.
You're the One I've violated, and You've seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil.  You have all the facts before You, whatever You decide about me is fair.
I've been out of step with You for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born." -vv.1-5

This is the Psalm that the great Israeli King, David, wrote after taking another man's wife into his bed, and then having that very man murdered... a man who was a loyal soldier.  The list of sins for the "godly king" gets pretty lengthy in just one episode: lust, fornication, adultery, abuse of power, oppression of the poor, manipulation, lies, murder.  David confesses to God, "You have all the facts before You, whatever You decide about me is fair."  God does not have to be a secret agent spy; there is no cover-up we can manage to fool Him with.

"What You're after is truth from the inside out.  Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
Soak me in Your laundry and I'll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once broken bones to dancing,
Don't look to close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health." -vv.6-9

Because of the truth that we can't fool God, we must come to grips with His desire for us is to be true and honest from the inside out.  God's desire is for us to be pure from the inside out.  The only way this can happen, is if God Himself enters us and makes us true and clean on the inside.  Spiritually, before this realization we were broken bones on the inside... but when we open ourselves up to God, He heals the broken within us so profoundly that now we can dance (something you can't do very well with broken bones)!

"God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don't throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails.!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I'll sing anthems to Your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God; I'll let loose with your praise." -vv.10-15

Here are words worthy of daily prayer!  God takes the chaos, does His "Spirit hover over" thing (see Genesis 1), and then is able to look at our lives and sees that it is good.  You are never irredeemable trash to God!  And here is a call to a ministry that resonates deep within my spirit: "Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home!"  Anybody out there starting to see why God has uniquely gifted and called me to this pastor-gig I am now doing?! My death-sentence has been revoked, and my lips are unbuttoned - I cannot help but praise my God!  I don't really care if they label me a Jesus Freak!

"Going through the motions doesn't please You, a flawless performance is nothing to You.
I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered.  Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice (are you shouting 'HALLELUJAH" yet???).
Make Zion the place You delight in, repair Jerusalem's broken-down walls.
Then You'll get real worship from us, acts of worship small and large, including all the bulls they can heave on Your altar!" -vv.16-19

These words wreck me.  It is so easy to shift focus on performance rather than on the One we perform for.  True worship is an outpouring of shattered pride.  When we take pride in our worship instead of taking pride in the One we're worshiping, we end up just like King David - going through the motions while decaying and ugly on the inside.  Praise God that shattered pride and broken hearts don't escape God's sight - even when our hearts are hurting from self-inflicted wounds, He has compassion.  Grace and Peace.  The from-the-inside-out-life that is healed and made pure is a life that springs forth real worship to the One who is our Grace and Peace!  Yes, this includes offerings made in "the temple," but is about how you and I live our lives every day.  Is your today an act of worship?

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