The Powerful Psalm 34:18 Meaning (The LORD is close to the brokenhearted)

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

The book of Psalms spans the range of human emotions that we go through. Whether joy or grief, pain or peace, the Psalms help us express what we are feeling. And Psalm 34 is one of the most powerful Psalms of hope in the entire book. 

The Psalm 34:18 meaning is one that every Christian should hang onto in difficult seasons. In it we see a beautiful picture of how God cares for his people. He is not distant, but he is close by.

I think if you take a few minutes dive into the meaning of Psalm 34:18 you will be encouraged by what you see. Let’s take a look. 

The Context of Psalm 34:18 

Psalm 34 was written by David in which he is praising God for delivering Israel from their enemies. This Psalm is an invitation for others to join in on this joyful singing. 

One of the most common themes through this Psalm is the goodness of God. And that all who fear God will live blessed lives. 

Throughout Psalm 34 we also see the goodness of God contrasted with the actions of the wicked. God cares for and protects the righteous, but the wicked stand condemned. 

This contrast picks up towards the end of the chapter as David writes about what God does for those who fear God and for the wicked. He delivers some powerful images that God watches over, protects, draws near, and listens to the righteous. But on the other side he condemns the wicked. 

It’s in this final section of the Psalm that we find this incredible promise that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 

The Psalm 34:18 Meaning 

The meaning of Psalm 34:18 is an incredible promise of the nearness of God in the midst of our troubles. To help you better understand this promise I’m going to break this verse down into two sections. 

The Lord Is Close To The Brokenhearted

God isn’t a distant God who doesn’t care about his people’s problems. He’s fully invested in us in a way that we cannot fully understand. In our brokenness God draws near to us. Not only that, this verse reveals that God understands our feelings. 

This is in contrast to other gods, or even atheism, in which there is no care or concern. David here is proclaiming that God cares deeply. 

Jesus embodied Psalm 34:18 in his time on earth. Maybe the time it’s seen the clearest is in the shortest verse in the Bible: “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) When Jesus’ friend died we see him deeply moved and come close to those who were broken in that moment. 

You can read more about this interaction here: Why Did Jesus Weep? (the POWERFUL truth of John 11:35)

What the Bible teaches us is that God feels empathy for you and for me. He doesn’t look at your problems and think you should just get over it, deal with it, or move past it. Even though he knows that what we are facing is temporary. Instead he chooses to sit with us in it. He draws close to us. 

But that’s not it. God is close to the brokenhearted, and he also does something about it. 

Saves Those Who Are Crushed In Spirit 

God not only cares about what we are going through, but he saves us from what is crushing us. In the context of Psalm 34:18 David is praising God for rescuing them from the enemies, the Philistines. But we can apply the same principle to our lives today.

God not only cares for his people, he rescues them. 

The ultimate fulfillment of this is found in Jesus. He took on our sins on the cross so that we can spend eternity with him. He did for us what we could never do for ourselves. He conquered sin and death. Now, even in death, we have hope. Death could not hold him down, and he rose, conquering death once and for all. 

Whenever we are facing trials and tribulations we can go to God. He will draw near to us, have compassion on us, and lead us through. 

How The Meaning Of Psalm 34:18 Applies To Your Life 

So, how do we apply Psalm 34:18 to our everyday lives? There’s two primary lessons we can pull from this verse. 

First, Psalm 34:18 is a source of encouragement.  

God is close to the brokenhearted. He is our comforter and provider. There will be times where we might not feel close to God, but that doesn’t change his promises. He is with you, and he will lead you through. 

Every follower of Jesus should hold tightly to the meaning of Psalm 34:18 as a source of encouragement about what God does for his people. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, he is close to you. 

The second thing we should pull from this verse is a reason to praise God. This is what Psalms often help us do, turn our praise back to God. 

How can we praise God in these difficult seasons? Because God is close to us, he hears us, and he will rescue us. Therefore we can praise him. 

Hang onto this verse. Remember the promise that is found in the Psalm 34:18 meaning. When life goes south, run to God. He will draw near to you and lead you through it. 

Want to learn how you can run to God? Check out: 15 Creative Ways You Can Spend Time With God

Jeffery Curtis Poor
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