Psalm 34:15-22 (NRSV)
Verse 15The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.
Verse 16The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
Verse 17When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.
Verse 18The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
Verse 19Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all.
Verse 20He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.
Verse 21Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
Verse 22The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
The psalmist writes: “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.” This is not a statement of “favoritism” or exclusivity on behalf of “holy people” within the community of faith. It refers to all who seek the Lord in faith. It is also a promise, that God always has and always will oppose evil, that when the faithful cry for help, God hears us. Perhaps the most revealing promise of all is this one: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.” No matter how many afflictions we face, the Lord promises to redeem all who take refuge in God. In a year of a global pandemic and ongoing political strife, these offer words of comfort and hope. This is the God whom we serve, the one who promises to always hear you and me—and all the brokenhearted who turn to the Lord.
Lord we come to you for help, when we are brokenhearted and find our spirits crushed by life’s load. You have promised to hear all who call upon you. So we take refuge in you. Amen.