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He Heals the Brokenhearted

1Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant,11Or for he is beautiful and a song of praise is fitting.
2The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
4He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
5Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
6The Lord lifts up the humble;22Or afflicted
he casts the wicked to the ground.

7Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre!
8He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares rain for the earth;
he makes grass grow on the hills.
9He gives to the beasts their food,
and to the young ravens that cry.
10His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
11but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.

12Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
13For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
14He makes peace in your borders;
he fills you with the finest of the wheat.
15He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16He gives snow like wool;
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
17He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
who can stand before his cold?
18He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
19He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and rules33Or and just decrees to Israel.
20He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his rules.44Or his just decrees
Praise the Lord!


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Verses 1–11

Praising God is work that is its own wages. It is comely; it becomes us as reasonable creatures, much more as people in covenant with God. He gathers outcast sinners by his grace, and will bring them into his holy habitation. To those whom God heals with the consolations of his Spirit, he speaks peace, assures them their sins are pardoned. And for this, let others praise him also. Man's knowledge is soon ended; but God's knowledge is a dept that can never be fathomed. And while he telleth the number of the stars, he condescends to hear the broken-hearted sinner. While he feeds the young ravens, he will not leave his praying people destitute. Clouds look dull and melancholy, yet without them we could have no rain, therefore no fruit. Thus afflictions look black and unpleasant; but from clouds of affliction come showers that make the soul to yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness. The psalmist delights not in things wherein sinners trust and glory; but a serious and suitable regard to God is, in his sight, of very great price. We are not to be in doubt between hope and fear, but to act under the gracious influences of hope and fear united.

Verses 12–20

The church, like Jerusalem of old, built up and preserved by the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, is exhorted to praise him for all the benefits and blessings vouchsafed to her; and these are represented by his favours in the course of nature. The thawing word may represent the gospel of Christ, and the thawing wind the Spirit of Christ; for the Spirit is compared to the wind, Joh 3:8. Converting grace softens the heart that was hard frozen, and melts it into tears of repentance, and makes good reflections to flow, which before were chilled and stopped up. The change which the thaw makes is very evident, yet how it is done no one can say. Such is the change wrought in the conversion of a soul, when God's word and Spirit are sent to melt it and restore it to itself.




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