Bind up the brokenhearted
In the Bible, hearts can be failed, faint, glad, hard, willing, stirred, sorrowful, obstinate, lifted up, circumcised, wicked, grieved, hot, astonished, trembling, melted, inclined, merry, rejoicing, naughty, offended, dead, desirous, despising, lion-like, bowed, upright, understanding, large, turned away, turned back, sore troubled, tender, double, perfect, tried, prepared, free, united, proud, soft, walking, deceived, enticed, hypocritical, trembling, firm, proved, wax-like, pure, enlarged, strengthened, disquieted, panting, meditating, clean, contrite, sore pained, fixed, overwhelmed, poured out, set, froward, smitten, brought down, wounded, inclined, fat, sound, desolate, subtil, perverse, heavy, sick, haughty, fretting, despairing, hasty, ravished, awake, moved, stout, fearful, revived, evil, washed, rebellious, uncircumcised, deceitful, turned, affected, whorish, stony, idolatrous, weak, new, bitter, of flesh, divided, exalted, rent, lowly, waxed gross, far from God, good, slow, burning, troubled, pricked, single, not right, opened, impenitent, anguished, veiled, blind, true, established.
Today, heavy, hard, pure and stout-hearted, have survived as common sayings. But perhaps the most popular variation on this theme is “broken-hearted.” We have all felt “broken-hearted” at times. But wonderfully, the LORD Jesus has healing for us. The very reason He was sent into the world was to bind up our broken hearts:
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:1-3)
Throughout Isaiah, the prophet lifts up the King before us. The true King is the LORD of the temple vision, He will become the miraculous Child Immanuel, the Prince of Peace, the Spirit-filled Branch and our Sacrificial Lamb. And here in chapter 61 we read about the just and gentle rule of this Spirit-filled King. This Ruler does not use His power to dominate but to heal and bless.
What king cares about the hearts of his subjects? This King does. He binds up the broken-hearted.
And part of the reason He can bind up the broken-hearted is because He has experienced the ultimate heart-break Himself.
“Hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily. Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies. Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee. Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink”. (Psalm 69:17-21)
Christ died of a broken heart in every sense. Read the whole Psalm to get a sense of the pain of unrequited love which He experienced. Yet His own heart was also bound up – healed – in resurrection. And by His Spirit He offers the sympathy of One who knows, and the power of One who has conquered.
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18)