He Heals the Brokenhearted
147 Praise the LORD!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The LORD lifts up the humble;
he casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre!
He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares rain for the earth;
he makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the beasts their food,
and to the young ravens that cry.
His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
He makes peace in your borders;
he fills you with the finest of the wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.
He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
who can stand before his cold?
He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and rules to Israel.
He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his rules.
Praise the LORD!
Psalm 147 Commentary
by Hank Workman
It begins and ends with “Praise the Lord!”
In 20 verses we read of the overarching protection and preservation of His people. His people who are humble before Him. We read of such hope of God’s care and power. We read of God’s work in nature itself. We read of what God takes delight in. We read of His presence and Word to His people.
Oh, there is such hope found in these words to cling.
Charles Spurgeon preached a message called “Good Cheer for the Outcasts.” Within this, he spoke of the many types who would fit this description of whom Jesus gathers and blesses.
Outcasts may be the very poorest and most despised among men. Outcasts may be those who have made themselves so by their wickedness. They may be those who judge themselves to be outcasts. The outcasts could be the backsliders and those who have fallen into a great depression. These are those who may suffer for righteousness’ sake.
The beauty found in Spurgeon’s thoughts are at some point on our journey we all could identify with this placement. But in this as the psalmist praises God, it is He who heals the brokenhearted; those afflicted by such things and thoughts. Those who humbly seek their God are complete objects of His affection.
That would be you. That would be me.
Jesus who is the good shepherd, the living picture of the good Samaritan is one who tends to and cares for their wounds. This where our focus must be again and again when we feel so broken and hurt. As God knows the names of the stars, He knows our very names and our struggle.
Our God lifts up the humble, those who have brought themselves humbly before Him in repentance. But He does something else. He casts the wicked to the ground. It is God who can intervene and reverse the order of evil. Mercy and judgment are found in His name.
What this psalm calls for us to do is trust Him. Trust Him no matter what we may be facing. Trust Him no matter what others have said. Trust Him no matter what the facts scream even at times. For there are compassionate acts of God found for those who do. These usher in more than enough reasons to praise. He gives security by strengthening the bars of our gates. He gives a future by blessing your children within. He gives peace as peace is found at your borders and He provides as he fills you with the finest wheat.
It is time for each of us to praise our God. Not only for the fact He is trustworthy but He is overall and will work toward and in His people. Let not your focus be where things ‘could go’ but focus on where things ‘will’ with the trust and faith in this compassionate, caring and powerful God of ours!
Psalm 147 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Many scholars believe this psalm was prepared for use when the new city walls were completed by Nehemiah. What I find most fascinating is that the psalmist never grows weary of praising God. The psalmist emphasizes a contrast where God is both glorified the vast unexplained reality as well as the simple, personal aspects of life.
The Lord builds up the nation of Israel (big picture) but also gathers the outcasts (personal). He counts the number of stars (big picture) but also gives a name to each one of them (personal). He covers the earth with clouds and rain (big picture), but also provides food for young ravens which cry (personal).
Sometimes we can fall victim to missing the holistic qualities of God when we focus too much on one or the other. If we only know God in the broad scenarios, we lack personal connection. If we only know Him in the personal way, we miss the awe and wonder of His majesty.
This idea is precisely what this psalm is communicating.
He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man. 11 The LORD favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.Psalms 147:10-11 NASB
Once again, we see the big picture and personal attributes in those who the Lord favors. They fear Him (big picture) but also wait for His love (personal).
“He has no such delight in athletic strength or speed as He has in the reverent worship of His people. There is a perfect balance and rhythm in God’s nature.”F.B. Meyer