A broken heart - לב נשברי nishberey Web, the heart broken to shivers.
A contrite spirit - רוח דכאי dakkeey ruach, "the beaten-out spirit." In both words the hammer is necessarily implied; in breaking to pieces the ore first, and then plating out the metal when it has been separated from the ore. This will call to the reader's remembrance Jeremiah 23:29; : "Is not my word like as a fire, saith the Lord? And like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" The breaking to shivers, and beating out, are metaphorical expressions: so are the hammer and the rock. What the large hammer struck on a rock by a powerful hand would do, so does the word of the Lord when struck on the sinner's heart by the power of the Holy Spirit. The broken heart, and the contrite spirit, are two essential characteristics of true repentance.
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart - Margin, as in Hebrew: “to the broken of heart.” The phrase, “the Lord is nigh,” means that he is ready to hear and to help. The language is, of course, figurative. As an Omnipresent Being, God is equally near to all persons at all times; but the language is adapted to our conceptions, as we feel that one who is near us can help us, or that one who is distant from us cannot give us aid. Compare the notes at Psalm 22:11. The phrase, “them that are of a broken heart,” occurs often in the Bible. It refers to a condition when a burden “seems” to be on the heart, and when the heart “seems” to be crushed by sin or sorrow; and it is designed to describe a consciousness of deep guilt, or the heaviest kind of affliction and trouble. Compare Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 61:1; Isaiah 66:2.
And sayeth such as be of a contrite spirit - Margin, as in Hebrew: “contrite of spirit.” The phrase here means the spirit as “crushed” or “broken down;” that is, as in the other phrase, a spirit that is oppressed by sin or trouble. The world abounds with instances of those who can fully understand this language.
“O fear the Lord, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” Psalm 34:9, 10. MYP 124.1
“Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:13-18. MYP 124.2
Here are promises, rich and abundant, upon conditions that you cease to do evil and learn to do well. Then set your aim in life high, as did Joseph and Daniel and Moses; and take into consideration the cost of character-building, and then build for time and for eternity.... MYP 124.3Read in context »
“The righteous cried, and Jehovah heard,
And delivered them out of all their troubles.
Jehovah is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart,
And saveth such as are of a contrite spirit.” 8T 272.1
Psalm 34:4-10, 17, 18, A. R. V. 8T 272
“The Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants:
And none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.” 8T 272.2
When will the people of God learn wisdom? The true religion of Jesus Christ has first to do with the mercy and grace of God in our daily experiences. God in Christ is ever nigh us; yes, nigh unto all them that call upon Him in simplicity and sincerity, realizing their great need of that wisdom that comes down from above.—Manuscript 43, March 22, 1898, “Remember the Former Things of Old.” UL 95.6Read in context »