Bring Broken Back! A Sermon on Psalm 147:1-11
† Jesus, Son, Savior †
May the grace of our God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ empower you to embrace your brokenness in order to let God heal it and bandage your wounds…as you help bring back exiles, building the city of God!
- We are encouraged to praise God – How right it is!
I used to be a little cynical, and when some walked up to me and said, “praise the Lord, brother!” my usually response was… “for what?”
I used to say it cynically, thinking of the trauma and grief I’ve witnessed over life, and the struggles that I had tried to help people endure. And usually after such a time, some upbeat, overzealous Jesus freak would come up to me with a big grin, and utter those words, “Praise the Lord brother!”
And as I grew in my dependence on God, still asked the same question, but now I wanted to know – for what was it they wanted me to praise God for… what had God done, or promised to do, that would result in a reaction of praise.
Unfortunately, most of the time the question was met with a blank stare, as if they had never considered why they were praising God, they just knew it was good to encourage others to do so so they did!
Hey! Bud – how are you packers? Praise the Lord!
How you doing with your recovery from surgery? Well, go on and praise the Lord!
Oh you had an IRS audit and a colonoscopy this week? Praise the Lord! Isn’t He just wonderful?
That’s why we need to hear the entire verse and the entire passage from Psalms today! Let’s start with the first verse, “Praise the LORD! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting!”
That’s a key point—how fitting, how appropriate our praise needs to be… but that means we have a challenge…
- We need to understand the brokenness… so we know the healing
Listen closely to the next words from the Psalm,
“2 The LORD is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.,… 5 How great is our Lord! His power is absolute!” Psalm 147:2-3
As the Psalmist praises God, he now shows two reasons why we should praise Him:
First there is rebuilding the kingdom and bringing back those who were exiled. We have to see this for what it is, as Israel and Judah get so enslaved to sin, and the consequences of that is that they were overrun by other nations, and their people taken away as captives. The city of Jerusalem as well, the place where the idolatry occurred, was reduced to rubble,
God had prophesied such a consequence more than once, even reinforced it when he sent 10 of the 12 tribes to captivity-he told the remain two that this could happen to them. Despite all this, the people still continued to sin, every sin known to man.
If we look at the world today, we see a world that rejects God the same way Israel did in the Old Testament. Everywhere you look is a form of idolatry, as people choose their own gods, and even believe that they are as knowledgeable and wise as God, and can dismiss what God teaches is right for what is right in their own eyes.
You see it everywhere, as people dismiss God’s word. And so, much like Israel, many people have chosen exile from God, and His peace and love. But He promises to bring people back… and rebuild a home for them.
But he also promises to heal the broken-hearted—those who still walk with Him but have been so devastated by the sin of others. He promises to cause the healing and bandage their wounds while they are here – committing Himself to all of that care… for you are the people He loves.
I gave this message an odd title—“bring broken back”
The reason for the title is not that I want more people exiled or more people broken. I just want people to know it is beneficial to realize that they are in exile, that they are broken-hearted. TO not hide either, or be ashamed of it, but to confidently trust that God will bring us back, and care for us, as we heal in His presence.
This is the time and place for both, within this group of fellow former exiles and people still healing from their brokenness, for many more to come back into the place that God has put here, for them to call home.
This altar, this place is one of the rebuilt places God would have His family call home, until we are all home with God our Father celebrating that day… as well as His celebrating every time an exile comes home, or someone’s heart it laid open so they can be healed.
- How do we trust Him that much?
Laying our lives this open isn’t easy, whether it is realizing like the prodigal that we are exiles, or that our hearts are shattered. It helps to know the nature of God – as the Psalmist describes,
8 He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures. 9 He gives food to the wild animals and feeds the young ravens when they cry. 10 He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might.
If God takes care of all of that. Then certainly He can keep his promises to bring the repentant home, and heal and bandage the brokenhearted…..
- And when we do… when we put our hope in His cHESED
Which brings us to the greatest reason for the praise of our God as the psalmist which wraps up our reading this morning.
11 No, the LORD’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
That phrase unfailing love is that word cHesed – meaning devoted, love so intense, that nothing can stop the love, or separate us from it. A love that requires the lover to die for the one He loves..
As Jesus did for you and me… which is why we praise Him! AMEN!