“But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments… I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart…” Leviticus 26:14, 16
These verses in Leviticus are the first mention in the Bible of “sorrow of heart”; notice that God causes it by not listening to Him nor doing His commandments. We need to see that God loves us so much that he will use the many different circumstances of life to draw us to him, rather than allowing us to continue down the wrong path, away from him. Consider the following two verses together in relation to a lost person.
“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” Proverbs 15:13
“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18
God uses “sorrow” to break our spirit and break our heart to bring us “nigh” or near him. It is only when we are “contrite”, i.e. crushed, bruised, hurt, that we turn to him in humility and despair for salvation. Paul speaks to the Corinthians about the two types of sorrow that can result from adverse circumstances, either Godly sorrow or sorrow of the world.
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” 1 Corinthians 7:10
The “sorrow of the world” is only being sorry that we got caught and then continuing down the path of death without God, Psalm 16:4 tells us about this type of sorrow, “Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god”. But “Godly sorrow” is when we let our heart be tender and truly sorry and repent of our sin and turn to God for salvation. Below is the promise that is found in context with the first verses of this devotional.
“If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me… if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant…” Leviticus 26:40-42
Friend, if you have “sorrow of heart” today, it may be that God has orchestrated the circumstances of your life so that you will see your need for him and accept his offer of salvation. By confessing your iniquity, and humbling your heart to accept the responsibility of your sin, and turning (repenting) from your path to God’s path, you can be saved. Cry out to him today with a contrite heart and receive the free gift of eternal life, through belief in Jesus Christ, because he too was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3)!