Psalm 51:17, Sacrifices…broken spirit…contrite heart. Broken is the Hebrew word shobar meaning “to burst, break (down, off, in pieces, up), bring to birth, breach” and refers to a one’s personal spirit that YHVH has broken into or breached. This is necessary if there is to be a breakthrough in one’s spiritual life.
The fallow ground of one’s heart must be broken up or tilled for righteousness to occur as one seeks YHVH (Hos 10:12).
The hard and carnal heart of each person must be circumcised (Deut 10:16; 30:6; Jer 4:4; Col 2:11). This occurs through repentance from sin as this psalm explains.
It is then that not only one receives salvation, but joy comes with that salvation (v. 12) along with gladness (v. 8). Why? Because YHVH has lovingly purged and cleansed us of our sins and blotted our past sins out (vv. 1, 2, 9) and the guilt therefrom (v. 14) and has us whiter than snow (v. 7).
When does this happen? Only when we acknowledge our sins (v. 3), and not until then. This freedom from sin and spiritual heart, mind, and emotional cleansing only occurs when we humble ourselves, allow the light of YHVH’s truth (v. 6) to shine into deep and dark areas of our lives, and to expose the sin that lies therein (v. 3b).
This process all starts when we allow YHVH to break open the fallow ground of our hard, stoney and sinful hearts (v. 17). When this happens, the good seed of his Word can fall onto the fertile soil of our lives like rain on parched ground resulting in a rich harvest (Matt 13:23) of spiritual fruit (Gal 5:22–25). So repent of sin!