Study Guide – Psalm 51:16-19


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 favor 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. NLT


In what ways is a broken spirit a sacrifice?


What do these verses teach us about a true relationship with God?


In verse 18, David is concerned about how the consequences of his sin could impact Israel. What does he ask of God? Why is this an important perspective for a leader?


The religious system of Israel used animal sacrifices. What do you think was the intention behind these sacrifices? How do verses 16-19 give legitimacy to this practice?


Look at verse 19. With the background of this psalm in mind (Read 2 Samuel for the context of this psalm), does it surprise you that David thinks God could actually be pleased with a sacrifice? Why or why not?



In the next 24 hours, repeat verse 17 to yourself over and over again. Work to memorize this verse and then to find opportunities to apply this verse to the actions of your heart.


Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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