The Lord is close to the brokenhearted


I have always loved this passage in Psalm 34. Read the whole chapter (which I have copied from biblegateway.com and included it after the following message from The Life Application Study Bible).  Let it bathe over you with comfort.

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God pays attention to those who call on Him.  Whether God offers escape from trouble or help in times of trouble, we can be certain that He always hears and acts on behalf of those who love Him.

God promises great blessings to His people, but many of these blessings require active participation.  He will deliver us from:

  • fear (34:4),
  • save us out of our troubles (34:6),
  • guard and deliver us (34:7),
  • show us goodness (34:8),
  • supply our needs (34:9),
  • listen when we talk to Him (34:15)
  • and redeem us (34:22),

but we must do our part.

We can appropriate His blessings when:

  • we seek Him (34:4, 10),
  • cry out to Him (34:6, 17),
  • trust Him (34:8),
  • fear Him (34:7,9),
  • refrain from lying (34:13),
  • turn from evil,
  • do good and seek peace (34:14),
  • are humble (34:18,
  • and serve Him (34:22).

34:8  “Taste and see” does not mean “Check out God’s credentials.”  Instead it is a warm invitation. “Try this; I know you’ll like it.”  When we take that first step of obedience in following God, we will discover that Je is good and kind.  When we begin the Christian life, our knowledge of God is partial and incomplete.  As we trust Him daily, we experience how good He is.

34:9   You say you belong to the Lord, but do you fear Him?  To fear the Lord means to show deep respect and honor to Him.  We demonstrate true reverence by our humble attitude and genuine worship.  Reverence was shown by Abraham (Genesis 17:2-4), Moses (Exodus 3:5, 6), and the Israelites (Exodus 19:16-24) showed this kind of fear of the Lord.

34:9, 10  At first we may question David’s statement, because we seem to lack many good things.  This is not a blanket promise that all Christians will have everything they want.  Instead, this is David’s praise for God’s goodness–all those who call upon God in their need will be answered, sometimes in unexpected ways.

Remember, God knows what we need, and our deepest needs are spiritual.  Even though many Christians face unbearable poverty and hardship, they still have enough spiritual nourishment to live for God.  David was saying that to have God is to have all you really need.  God is enough.
If you feel you don’t have everything you need, ask:

  • Is this really a need?
  • Is this really good for me?
  • Is this the best time for me to have what I desire?

Even if you answer yes to all three questions, God may allow you to go without to help you grow more dependent on Him.  He may want you to learn that you need Him more than having to achieve your immediate desires.

34:11-14  The Bible often connects the fear of the Lord (love and reverence for Him) with obedience.  “Fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13); “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching” (John 14:23).

David said that a person who fears the Lord

  • doesn’t lie,
  • turns from evil,
  • does good,
  • and promotes peace.

Reverence is much more than sitting quietly in church.  It includes obeying God in the way we speak and the way we treat others.

34:14  Some may think that peace should come with no effort.  But David explained that we are to seek and pursue peace.  Paul echoed this thought in Romans 12:18.  A person who wants peace cannot be argumentative and contentious.  Because peaceful relationships come from our efforts at peacemaking, work hard at living in peace with others each day.

34:18, 19  We often wish we could escape troubles–

  • the pain of grief,
  • loss,
  • sorrow,
  • and failure;

or even the small daily frustrations that constantly wear us down.

God promises to be “close to the brokenhearted,” to be our source of

  • power,
  • courage,
  • and wisdom,

helping us through our problems.

Sometimes He chooses to deliver us from those problems.  When trouble strikes, don’t get frustrated with God.  Instead, admit that you need God’s help and thank Him for being by your side.

34:20  This is a prophecy about Christ when He was crucified.  Although it was the Roman custom to break the legs of the victim to speed death, not one of Jesus’ bones was broken (John 19:32-37).  In addition to the prophetic meaning, David was pleading for God’s protection in times of crisis.

 

Psalm 34

1 I will extol the Lord at all times;
His praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He answered me;
He delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to Him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
He saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
and He delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.
Fear the Lord, you His saints,
for those who fear Him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and His ears are attentive to their cry;
16 the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
He delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20  He protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems His servants;
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in Him.

 

 

To read this passage in the King James Version, please click on this link:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2034&version=KJV

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