"A Broken And A Contrite Heart"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 126

Context: The writer of this psalm entreats God to have mercy upon him because he has sinned and broken the commandments. He pleads for cleansing of his guilt, asking that God allow him to remain in His presence. Finding joy in his salvation, he pledges that he will instruct other sinners in the way of the Lord. After exuberantly praising God for delivering him, he reflects that God desires humility of spirit rather than burnt offerings:

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

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