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“By reason of breakings they purify themselves” (Job 41:25).
God uses most for His glory those people and things which are most perfectly broken. The sacrifices He accepts are broken and contrite hearts. It was the breaking down of Jacob’s natural strength at Peniel that got him where God could clothe him with spiritual power. It was breaking the surface of the rock at Horeb, by the stroke of Moses’’ rod that let out the cool waters to thirsty people.
It was when the 300 elect soldiers under Gideon broke their pitchers, a type of breaking themselves, that the hidden lights shone forth to the consternation of their adversaries. It was when the poor widow broke the seal of the little pot of oil, and poured it forth, that God multiplied it to pay her debts and supply means of support.
It was when Esther risked her life and broke through the rigid etiquette of a heathen court, that she obtained favor to rescue her people from death. It was when Jesus took the five loaves and broke them, that the bread was multiplied in the very act of breaking, sufficient to feed five thousand. It was when Mary broke her beautiful alabaster box, rendering it henceforth useless, that the pent-up perfume filled the house. It was when Jesus allowed His precious body to be broken to pieces by thorns and nails and spear, that His inner life was poured out, like a crystal ocean, for thirsty sinners to drink and live.
It is when a beautiful grain of corn is broken up in the earth by DEATH, that its inner heart sprouts forth and bears hundreds of other grains. And thus, on and on, through all history, and all biography, and all vegetation, and all spiritual life, God must have BROKEN THINGS.
Those who are broken in wealth, and broken in self-will, and broken in their ambitions, and broken in their beautiful ideals, and broken in worldly reputation, and broken in their affections, and broken ofttimes in health; those who are despised and seem utterly forlorn and helpless, the Holy Spirit is seizing upon, and using for God’s glory. “The lame take the prey,” (Isa 33:23).
O break my heart; but break it as a field
Is by the plough up-broken for the corn;
O break it as the buds, by green leaf seated,
Are, to unloose the golden blossom, torn;
Love would I offer unto Love’s great Master,
Set free the odour, break the alabaster.O
break my heart; break it victorious God,
That life’s eternal well may flash abroad;
O let it break as when the captive trees,
Breaking cold bonds, regain their liberties;
And as thought’s sacred grove to life is springing,
Be joys, like birds, their hope, Thy victory singing.
— Thomas Toke Bunch
During what the Bible calls “the time of the end,” Daniel had a dream that envisioned our “Perfectly Broken” theme for this week’s devotional:
Dan 2:45 Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”
Today; it is still possible to be perfectly broken. Put away all hardness, all denunciation of your brethren, all criticisms, and lie broken at the feet of your Lord. Let earnestness come into your hearts, and fervent charity, and “unfeigned love” grow among yourselves. If you bite and devour one another, you shall be devoured one of another.
The question is not whether you see as your brother or sister does on controverted points; but what spirit has characterized your actions? Have you an experience, with Christ in close self-examination, in humbling the heart before God? Have you made it a practice of your life to confess your sins to God and your faults to your brethren? All of us are liable to err; therefore the word of God tells us plainly how to correct and heal these mistakes. None can say that that they never make a mistake, that they never sinned at all; but it is important to consider what disposition we make of these wrongs. The apostle Paul made grievous mistakes, all the time thinking that he was doing God service; but when the Spirit of the Lord set the matter before him in its true light, he confessed his wrong-doing, and afterward acknowledged the great mercy of God in forgiving his transgression. You also may have done wrong, thinking you were perfectly right; but when time reveals your error, then it is your duty to humble the heart, and confess your sin. Fall on the Rock and be broken; then Jesus can give you a new heart, a new spirit.
Present the offering of a broken and contrite heart to Jesus today.