September 20, 2015  Psalm 51: 10 -19 Brokenness


    Generally speaking we do not like the idea of broken things.  If the window is broken the bugs can come in or the outside air either hot or cold can come in.  That could mean glass on the floor that needs to be cleaned up.  A broken car may mean it is not drivable.   A frozen broken pipe may mean running water on the floor.  Generally when something gets broken it no longer works correctly whether it is a toy for a major appliance.  Children can be hard on their toys and some toys do not last too long.  Generally broken things need attention and fixing if possible and therefore we do not like hearing that word broken.  We do not like to see that warning light come on the dash of the car.  It means some work or cost. 

     When God created the earth it was perfect but it did not stay perfect.  Or fore fathers or fore parents Adam and Eve brought a lot of brokenness in the world.   God told them cursed is the ground for your sake.  God cursed his beautiful creation.  Man brought that curse on.  We live in a pretty broken world today and we see a lot of brokenness through the bible.  In Genesis 6 every thought of man’s heart was only evil continually.  Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.   So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”   God saw the terrible actions and thoughts of man and God did something about it.  At this point in time God sent the flood. 

      In Genesis 11 man begins to build the tower of Babel and God comes down and takes a look at the situation.  Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”  Man wanted to make a name for himself not for God but for himself.   But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building.   The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.   Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”     So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.   That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world.  From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.  God separated them because man was broken and not up to any good.  Maybe at that point God physically put them in the western hemisphere.  Then of course there were the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah who were so bad that God just destroyed them after he led the righteous few out. 

     In the New Testament we see man’s brokenness.  In Romans 3 Paul further discusses man’s brokenness.  These are quotes from the Old Testament.  As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.   All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does well, not even one.”   “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”   “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”   “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”   “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.”   “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”    That is a terrible situation to be in.  What is a person capable of doing that has no fear of God in their life?    No wonder Satan desires to remove all the witness of God from the world.   

        The Holy Spirit in II Timothy 3 tells us that times would be difficult in the last days.   We are living in the last days.  Broken man creates a broken society.  But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.   People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers ofpleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with such people.   They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.   Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.  Mankind is broken.   Things are not well.  God has an answer for that also and it is called the end.      

.  There is so much criticism today.   No matter what you do or say someone will have something negative to say about it.  The situation with the 14 year old and the clock is interesting.  Homemade clocks that can look like bombs are not taken lightly.  It points out that people are concerned about bombs.  There is the aroma of fear in the air with the violence that we see in the land.  There is strange weather and so much suffering and starvation in the world.  There certainly is a world economy today and what happens far away can have a huge impact on us.   We face so much today.   There is ethnic cleansing and war which brings starvation and suffering.   At times it seems like the weather is broken, people all over the world are broken and governments are broken.  Generally speaking we do not like the word broken.      I know we did not come to church today to hear about the sad affairs of the world.   I guess we all understand that the world is pretty broken today.  What is the answer?  What is the answer for your brokenness? 

      Is brokenness always bad?   Is it always a bad word?  What is the answer for the brokenness in the world today?  I would say more brokenness or perhaps the right kind of brokenness. Is America growing closer to God or further away?   What happened in the Old Testament when the Jews drifted away from God?   Things got bad when they fell into deep sin.  And the reality is what made things better?   We see over and over again in Judges and in other places in the Old Testament that the Jewish people would sin and fall far from God and then God would allow a national disaster that they could not handle and then the Jews would turn again to God.  Generally hard times brought repentance.  Does the church tend to multiply when there is persecution or when everything is going fairly easily?    Some of us would probably say I am so broken now I can hardly stand and certainly I do not want any more brokenness. 

     I think when we consider the bible brokenness is a good thing.   How does God feel about the world?  How does God look at all these things?       God often made comments about how the Children of Israel were hard hearted.  They were stiff necked and they forced their own way.  Often they would be warned and they would ignore the warning that God gave them.     When things were bad for the Children of Israel God invited them to repent.  Things got so bad with God’s people in the Old Testament that God allowed them to be deported for years to Babylon and Assyria.  The prophets in American have called us to repentance and some have repented but not the church in general.  We have been warned. 

    In Joel 2 we read.   “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”  Rend your heart and not your garments.   Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.    Who knows?    He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing—grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God.  Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly.    Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. 

   We see an urgency in this passage.  When danger and evil are coming upon God’s people God says to turn to him.  The passage continues let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.    Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the portico and the altar.    Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord.  Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations.   Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?”     Rend your heart God says.  Rend means to tear or split apart violently.  It means to pull, split apart, or divide as by tearing.  Break your heart and not your garments. 

   A broken heart is a precious thing to God.  How does the heart get broken?  I think a lot of it has to do with the Holy Spirit. We see the power of God’s word and preaching in Acts 2 where the Apostles spoke in tongues and Peter preached to the crowds.  The men were cut to the heart.  That opened the door for them to be saved.   That opened the door for them to repent.  A broken humble heart makes a very precious person.   It is the pathway to life. 

    Often when we sin we want to pay for our sin.  Many folks want to punish their self and they want to do something to make things right and sometimes when it involves others that is certainly part of the process.  David comments in Psalm 51 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.     My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.  A broken heart is very precious to God.  The right kind of brokenness is a good thing.  II Corinthians says Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret but worldly sorrow brings death. 

   A broken humble trusting heart is very precious to God.  One reason it is precious to God because that is his heart.  Jesus said I am meek and lowly in heart.  God’s heart is also broken.     I would submit to you today that God’s heart has been broken.  His heart was broken when Adam and Eve sinned and He cursed his creation.  His heart was broken when the world flooded.     I think God’s heart was grieved and hurt at the time of the flood and with Sodom.  He was grieved often through the Old Testament with how the children of Israel responded toward him.    His heart was broken with World War 1 and II.  His heart is broken when we are suffering.  His heart was broken at Calvary.  His heart is broken when people reject his love and when they do not understand his goodness even when things are difficult for people.    What is the answer for the world?   The answer is God’s broken heart.  The answer is Jesus broken body and Jesus broken heart.   

    The church also needs to be broken.    A true broken hearted person has a soft heart towards God.   They are open to receive constructive comments.  They were sorry for their sins and they give grace to others.   I spent a day and half at Alton Bay this week with a dozen pastors.   There is a different atmosphere being around men who are broken.   These men know they walk in grace and grace is what is extended to each other.  The church needs to rise up.  Rend your heart and not your garment.  Seek Jesus with all your heart.  God did not leave Adam and Eve in the garden.   He came to them and sought them out.  God did not leave the Jews in sin to live far from him.   In his love He brought them back through deep suffering.  And God’s desire was for each precious person in the world to know him and walk with him..  In the fullness of time God sent his son.  He did not leave us in our sin. 

      In Romans 5 we read you see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.   But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  In the midst of our sin Jesus comes and dies for us.  When we were his enemies and going against God and man was doing our own thing and going our own way Jesus died for us.  Jesus offers us life.  His life was broken so we may have life.  II Corinthians 5 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  Jesus allowed his body to be broken.  Jesus heart was broken.  Water and blood came from Jesus when the spear was thrust in him at the cross. 

   What is the answer for America more brokenness.  My heart broken and God’s heart is broken and when they connect healing takes place.  Brokenness heals brokenness.  Those that hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled.