I’m going to start at the end and work backwards, because right now that makes sense to me. The first two verses I want to look at are Psalm 34:18-19. I’m not sure if they’re intended to be hopeful, but instilled a lot of hope in me.
If we’re talking about distance from God, if we feel like we’re living in a season where things are bad and God is far away, then verse 18 is a great place to look.
“Near [is] Jehovah to the broken of heart, And the bruised of spirit He saveth.”
I love this because of the use of saveth. For simplicity sake, let’s call “the broken of heart, and the bruised of spirit” the downtrodden. Generally, we think of lifting up, comforting, or helping the downtrodden, but, according to David, God goes one step further. He saves them. God does so much more to care for his people than people could do.
Now for Psalm 34:19. I don’t know about you guys, but I regularly have days where I feel like I’ve messed up too many times in ways that are too big and the goal of Heaven is ridiculous because God would never forgive. First of all, it’s contrary to everything we’ve been taught about God. After all, as a man, he hung out with a tax collector! So verse 19:
“Many [are] the evils of the righteous, Out of them all doth Jehovah deliver him.”
It literally says that the righteous (people trying to live God’s path) have a whole bunch of flaws and mistakes, but God will make the righteous free of every one of them. It is literally said in the Bible even before Jesus that so long as we’re trying our darndest to live a Holy life, God will lift us above our sins. Awesome and super comforting.
I feel like I talk about God be righteous and just a lot. To me these are hard words to grasp the concept of in the world and even harder when they’re about God. Here’s the translation I’ve been using of Psalm 33:4.
“For upright [is] the word of Jehovah, And all His work [is] in faithfulness.”
The word upright is really big to be in this context. It makes me think is some being a “fine upstanding citizen.” I’m giving you my translation here because the others I’ve checked don’t use the word upright. Upright is a significantly easier concept for me to grasp, and so if God is the ultimate measure of righteousness and justice, he is the ultimate in uprightness. If we’re trying to live a Godly life then we’re trying to live upright or be fine upstanding citizens according to God’s laws. It’s not an easy task, but it’s easier to fathom than being righteous.