A broken heart is God’s handiwork, a sacrifice He prepares from material He has created. By breaking the heart, He opens it, making it a container for His Spirit’s grace, like a safe that must be unlocked, so that God can put the gospel’s jewels inside. That is where He puts His reverence: “I will put my fear in their hearts”; there He writes His law: “I will write my law in their heart”; there He puts His Spirit: “I will put my Spirit within you.”
God wants the human heart for His safe. There He will hide His treasure; there He will keep His justice, mercy, and every other grace. In our natural, selfish state, we have nothing to offer God except open war, acts of hostility, and rebellion. What delight can God take in that? Therefore, God will bend the selfish spirit until it breaks. He shoots an arrow at the lost soul, a barbed arrow that cannot be plucked out of the wound, an arrow that will stick fast and cause that selfish person to fall at God’s foot as though he were dead. Then the sinner will surrender his arms, offering himself up into God’s hand, begging for the Lord’s pardon. Only the will his pleas be truly sincere.
And now that God is victorious, what does He do? He rides in triumph with his captive beside Him I His chariot. He glories, the bells in heaven ring, and th angels shout for joy. After all, God Himself has told them to do so: “Be happy with me, for I have found my lost sheep.”