May 1, 2012

Something that I have come to appreciate about David is that he understood two things: his own brokenness, and God’s compassionate heart for those who are broken. We can see these two themes in the account of his life and in his own expression. David described the Lord as One who will never reject a “broken and repentant heart” (Psalm 51:17) and as a “Father to the fatherless (lonely, bereaved)” (Psalm 68:5). These were not theological truths David was advocating; this was how he experienced the Lord in his day-to-day life.

In Psalm 34:17-18 we see David’s words (NLT):

The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

What brings these two themes together is the Hebrew word qarowb. In the NLT, this word is translated close. God is close to the brokenhearted. This is not a mere closeness of proximity, but brings to mind a relational closeness. God is close to the brokenhearted in the same way that I am close to my child when she is sad or afraid. David knew this, not because he had been taught it (although I’m sure he had been taught these truths), but because the Lord had revealed Himself in this way to him.

David knew the closeness of the Lord. He knew it experientially. The words from Psalm 34 were both his testimony and his expression of worship.

How has the Lord been close to you? How have you experienced his closeness in the midst of your brokenness? Take a few moments today and journal about those experiences or write your own psalm of praise testifying how the Lord has been close to you.

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