16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.
You do not want a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
18 Look with favour on Zion and help her;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—
with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.
Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.
Any outward or visible sacrifice you might make for God, whether in giving money, or time, or possessions, or anything else, only has value or significance when it reflects the inner reality of David’s feeling here: The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. The heart re-united with God and broken of its arrogant self-sufficiency. You cannot conjure up a renewed experience of God when you have sinned: the repentance of a broken spirit that depends wholly on God’s grace and mercy is all that is needed.