“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; and broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalms 51:17, NIV 1984)
My Musings – A “broken spirit and a contrite heart” are those in which the obstinacy of pride has been replaced by the humility of repentance. (Smith, J. E. (1996). The wisdom literature and Psalms (p. 295). Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co.). I watched a lot of westerns when I was young (still do when I can). A spirited horse had to be broken before it could be of any use. A poor analogy perhaps, but the one that came to mind when I read this verse. Our pride and self-centeredness must be broken before we can be of any use for the Kingdom.
The sense of broken and contrite in the original language is shattered and crushed. Seems pretty severe, yet it brings another image to my mind. “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4–5, NIV 1984).
My Advice – Such was His sacrifice for us. “Crushed for our iniquities.” “A broken spirit; and broken and contrite heart.” Such should be our “sacrifice” for Him.