Psalm 34:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

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

Psalm 34:18, ESV: "The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."

Psalm 34:18, KJV: "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."

Psalm 34:18, NASB: "The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Psalm 34:18, NLT: "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed."

Psalm 34:18, CSB: "The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit."

What does Psalm 34:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this verse David writes how God understands our feelings and helps us bear the burden of sorrow. In contrast to pagan deities, or the unfeeling universe of atheism, the biblical God deeply cares for our pain. When Jesus knew His friend Lazarus had died, He went to the home of Lazarus's grieving sisters and comforted them. When He saw Mary's tears, "he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled" (John 11:33). When He approached Lazarus's tomb, He wept (John 11:35) and was "deeply moved again" (John 11:38). Jesus experienced all of this, though He knew all along He would raise His friend from death (John 11:11).

Hebrews 4:15 assures us that Jesus, our Great High Priest, sympathizes with our weaknesses. That includes both the meaning of human suffering and the struggle against sin. He was tempted like any other man but remained sinless. Knowing that He understands and cares, we can "draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).

It has been quipped that "prayer is the place burdens change shoulders." Our Lord's shoulders can bear our burdens when we are brokenhearted and our spirits are crushed (Matthew 11:28–30; 1 Peter 5:7).