Lately I’ve contemplated my lack of satisfaction. As I paid attention to the word “satisfied” in the Bible, I ran across this verse.
Make me to hear joy and gladness and be satisfied; let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Psalm 51:8 AMP
Often I’ve wondered exactly what this verse means. The two parts go together. In fact, the King James Version puts it this way:
Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
This psalm was written by David after the prophet, Nathan, confronted him with his sin of sleeping with Bathsheba, getting her pregnant, and then murdering her husband.
Instead of continuing on his course to hide his sin, David openly confessed it :
And David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Then Nathan passed along a proclamation from God.
And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die…” 2 Samuel 12:13 AMP
David could have stayed in the place of remorse, but he didn’t. His petition to God in Psalm 51:8 was a plea for God to help him receive the joy and gladness that comes from truly hearing God say, “You are forgiven.”
The broken bones here symbolize pain David felt when he realized how sinful he had been. David appeals to God to help him get over that broken feeling and move on to where he could rejoice over the fact that God exposed his sin but then forgave it.
Too often I fail to get over my broken feeling and fully receive God’s forgiveness. Instead I’ve taken the path to try to make up for my sin. Either I hold on to guilt or attempt to do enough good things to try to cancel out my wrongdoing.
This is a key cause of dissatisfaction in my soul. The truth I sometimes have a hard time embracing is this: there is nothing I can do to “make up” for sin.
What I need to do is hear God’s voice and believe Him when He says, “Elaine, you’re forgiven. Due to My great love for you, you will not die because of your sinful ways. Be glad and rejoice in that fact.”
When I reach the point where I can fully hear God’s “You’re forgiven” and experience the joy and gladness His mercy brings, satisfaction settles over my soul.
There is great satisfaction in knowing at the deepest level of my being that no sin can keep God from loving and forgiving me and that His mercy is a free gift.
Today Lord, make me to hear joy and gladness and be satisfied…May I not strive to use my efforts to erase the sin in my life. Instead let me rest in Your mercy.
What about you? Are you able to be satisfied with the gift of God’s forgiveness? Or do you try to earn His gift by attempting to make up for your sin by punishing yourself through prolonged guilt or by efforts to win back His favor through good works? Joy and gladness—and ultimately satisfaction– come through receiving the mercy God holds out. Will you receive it today?