Broken Bones


Lori Dixon discusses the biblical symbol of David saying his bones were broken.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. (Psalm 51:8 ESV)

When I was a child, I believed that a ‘good’ shepherd broke the legs of his disobedient sheep. I don’t recall who taught me that growing up, and even though it fit the picture of Jesus with a lamb around his shoulders, it never rang true to the Lord and Shepherd’s heart that I followed and loved.

Still, I wasn’t sure how to reconcile this passage about David saying his bones were broken.

Then I read this passage from Spurgeon who saw the broken bones as a metaphor and it resonated true:

‘David declares that such was his pain of mind. His soul was racked and tortured, anguished and tormented. The pain of a broken bone is as constant as it is excruciating. It prevents sleep by night and ease by day. The mind cannot be diverted from it. Men cannot shake off the remembrance that this, their frame, is so seriously injured . . . The metaphor also signifies that the result of his sin and of his repentance was exceedingly serious. Such an injury compels a man to change his lightheartedness for apprehension.’

Have you ever done something that just kept you up at night in anguish and guilt? I have. The Holy Spirit’s conviction can be crushing . . . bone breaking. But, much like David, I am thankful for the pain of those moments of ‘breaking bones’ as they lead me to my knees where I repent and find healing. You see, He is our Physician and ‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.’ (Psalm 147:3). Any brokenness is due to our own sin that brought the overwhelming burden of conviction.

Father, forgive us for the grievous sins we bring upon ourselves. Thank You Holy Spirit, for bringing the crushing conviction on our souls that call us to repent and find healing.  Amen

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