How can broken people be mended? What a great question. We all face times of feeling broken and full of despair. We all need hope for a better life. We want you to know that there is hope for you. You are not broken. You just need some help to get back on track.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
King David wrote the words in this Psalm. He was King of Israel a thousand years before Jesus was born. When he wrote them, he was broken. He had sinned by having relations with another man’s wife. Her name is Bathsheba, and she was the wife of Uriah the Hittite.
Don’t make things worse.
His wicked act was bad enough, but other issues made it worse:
- Israel was at war, and he wasn’t where he should be as king. He was at home instead of leading his forces into battle.
- David named Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, as one of David’s thirty men of honor, so David betrayed Uriah’s loyalty:
“Among the thirty were (they’re all listed by name)…Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 23:24,39).”
- David had Uriah murdered to cover his sin. While Uriah was fighting on the front-line David ordered Uriah’s commander, Joab, to have the rest of the army retreat, and that left Uriah exposed to the fiercest fighting of the enemy:
“He (David) wrote in the message, “Send Uriah to the front of the line where the fighting is heaviest then withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die (2 Samuel 11:15).”
Doctors take a Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm.” In other words, don’t make the situation worse. David made things worse.
Take responsibility for your actions
David had sinned, and when he did, he hid it the best he could. He thought no one knew about it. But being the godly man he was, he knew the difference between right and wrong. And his conscience made him miserable. After he’d finally confessed his sin to God, he wrote another Psalm describing how he felt when he didn’t acknowledge his sin:
“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night
Your (God’s) hand was heavy on me; my strength was changed into the drought of summer (Psalm 32:3-4).”
Live with the consequences
The prophet Nathan called out David’s sin, and David confessed. When he did, God forgave David’s sin, but there were consequences. Because God is holy, and He sees all, God judged David’s sin, and these results followed:
- “Now the sword will never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.
“Thus says the Lord:
- See, I will raise up trouble against you from within your house.
- I will take your wives before your eyes and will give them to your neighbor, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.
- Although you did it secretly, I will do this thing before all of Israel, and under the sun.”
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan said to David, “Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die.
- Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die (2 Samuel 12:10-14).”
King David was a broken man because of unconfessed sin. He knew he deserved death. But he confessed his sin, and God spared him:
“I acknowledged my sin to You, and m y iniquity I did not conceal. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin (Psalm 32:5).”
Point others to God’s refuge
God’s forgiveness caused David to counsel others to seek God; God is a refuge:
“For this cause everyone who is godly will pray to You in a time when You may be found (Psalm 32:6).”
Everyone will find themselves broken during their life. We can be broken many times over. It’s part of our human condition. Many times, maybe most of the time, we’ll be broken because of the sin we’ve brought on ourselves. We’ll have to live with its consequences. Sometimes, it’ll be because others have mistreated us. Other times, it’ll be from life, from living in an evil world.
David found that only the godly have a refuge:
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered (Psalm 32:1).”
Let it change you for the better
By our own choice, brokenness can lead us in the right direction, as it did with David. He turned to God in prayer. It can also lead us in the wrong direction. It’s not easy to admit we’re wrong. Or to forgive someone who’s wronged us. Or even to carry on in life when life has worn us down.
So, what’s David’s conclusion?
“Many sorrows come to the wicked, but lovingkindness will surround the man who trusts in the Lord.
Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, you righteous one; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart (Psalm 32:10-11)!”