PS 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 AND 23
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted,” says the response to Psalms 34:17-18. What exactly do these words mean? Answer: they could mean just about anything. “Brokenhearted” could mean lonely, or disappointed, or downtrodden, or simply despairing and sorrowful. In this excerpt of the Bible, God is coming to save all those who are in poor spirits, “the just” who are suffering. The text promises that God will deliver the just man, no matter how manifold his troubles may be. God is a refuge where all those who follow his law can take cover. He is a safe place for everyone who needs shelter, or even just someone to care. He does not turn anyone away or say that there is no room for them. “He watches over all his bones,” the text says, and cares for each of them equally. The smallest bone in God’s body is just as important as the largest or the strongest.
All of us, from the smallest child to the most elderly person, is significant in the eyes of the Lord. We can all rest assured in God and trust that he will protect us when we are, as the passage so poignantly says, “brokenhearted,” no matter the circumstances.