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Psalm 34:18 & meaning...

Yahweh 

is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves those who have a crushed spirit.

Psalm 34:18

Context

Yahweh’s eyes are toward the righteous.

    His ears listen to their cry.

Yahweh’s face is against those who do evil,

    to cut off their memory from the earth.

The righteous cry, and Yahweh hears,

    and delivers them out of all their troubles.

Yahweh is near to those who have a broken heart,

    and saves those who have a crushed spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,

    but Yahweh delivers him out of them all.

Psalm 34 [20.] He protects all of his bones.

    Not one of them is broken.


Meaning:

  • Yahweh is Near to Those with a Broken Heart:

The opening declaration paints a poignant picture of God's proximity to the brokenhearted. "Yahweh is near" speaks to the immediacy of His presence in times of emotional distress. The term "broken heart" conveys a sense of deep emotional pain and vulnerability. In the midst of such brokenness, God draws near, offering solace and companionship.

  • Saves Those with a Crushed Spirit:

The second part of the verse extends the divine response to those with a "crushed spirit." This phrase goes beyond the emotional realm, encompassing a state of profound despair or discouragement. The word "saves" here implies not only deliverance from external circumstances but also a holistic rescue that addresses the innermost being—the spirit.


Significance:

God's Immediacy in Pain: Psalm 34:18 assures us that God is not a distant observer of our pain but an intimate presence in the midst of it. The nearness of Yahweh to the brokenhearted is a testament to His compassionate nature.

Identification with Human Emotions: The use of terms like "broken heart" and "crushed spirit" reflects the Bible's acknowledgment of the complexity of human emotions. God's response is not detached or clinical but empathetic, recognizing and engaging with the depth of our emotional experiences.

Salvation as Restoration: The concept of God saving those with a crushed spirit goes beyond a mere rescue operation. It signifies a restoration of the whole person—mind, heart, and spirit. God's salvation addresses not only external circumstances but the internal landscape of our being.

Consolation in Despair: This verse offers a profound message of hope to those grappling with despair. It communicates that, in the midst of life's most challenging moments, there is a divine presence that brings comfort, healing, and restoration.


Cross References:

Psalm 51:17: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." This parallel verse emphasizes the acceptability of a contrite heart before God, reinforcing the idea that God is intimately involved with the brokenhearted.

Isaiah 57:15: "For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: 'I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.'" Isaiah echoes the theme of God dwelling with those who have a contrite spirit, emphasizing His desire to revive and restore.


In Conclusion: Psalm 34:18 encapsulates a profound truth about the nature of God's relationship with humanity. It speaks to the depth of our emotional and spiritual experiences, assuring us that in our brokenness, God is not distant but near, ready to save and restore. It's a verse that resonates with the universal human longing for solace and redemption in the face of life's trials.


PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible