bone breaker

    For I know my transgressions,
        and my sin is ever before me.
    Against you, you only, have I sinned
        and done what is evil in your sight,
    so that you may be justified in your words
        and blameless in your judgment.
    Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
        and in sin did my mother conceive me.
    Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
        and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
    Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
        wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    Let me hear joy and gladness;
        let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
    Hide your face from my sins,
        and blot out all my iniquities.

(Psalm 51:3-9 ESV)

The bones that YOU have broken? God is responsible for David's overwhelming conviction, grief, sorrow and shame over his sin. How is that good news? If God had just left him alone, David would have been able to justify or maybe even forget what he had done. Now he's begging God for joy and gladness, but surely God has now ruined any chance of that.

True joy and gladness is never going to be found by suppressing our guilt, by trying to cover over our sin and shame. We might be able to dull our senses and harden our hearts to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, but that is not going to take away the problem. Shoving sin deeper within ourselves does not get rid of it. The good news is God can get rid of it. We can be clean. Because of Jesus' life, death and resurrection, God can hide His face from our sin and embrace us.

That's the good news. Breaking the hand that clings onto something that leads to death is the most loving thing to do. And God loves us, so he will not shy away from breaking a few bones if that is what we need to find our way to his mercy.