“The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.
Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:2-5).
The healing of a hurting heart—between the gathering of a nation and the numbering of the stars.
How sympathetic that God acknowledges the challenge of a hurting heart!
How hopeful that God builds and heals and numbers, as One great in strength and infinite in mind!
But why would such a personal trait be placed between incidents of such magnitude? Could it be that there is a connection—a flow of ideas, from one line to the next?
Let us start with the wonder of naming stars. Beyond the fact that there must be a finite “number” of stars—though countless to our gaze—this act of naming stars speaks of the manifold majesty of God. Not only can He make a countless number of stars, He can individually identify these stars, He can invent enough names for these stars, and He can keep track of which star has which name. Like a shepherd who knows all his hundred sheep by name, the Lord knows all His starry host by name, and loses not one in the crowd. That’s an amazing mind and eye! To us, the countless stars of the heavens strike us as faces in a foreign crowd, with one face looking so much as the next. To God, the stars are numbered and personally named.
Such an amazing power of mind and eye applies directly to the plight of the Jews. Like the sand of the sea and the stars of heaven, the Jews have multiplied, in fulfillment of Abraham’s promise—but now they have been scattered to the winds! Who has the power to see every one of the promised seed, and to gather them back? Like Abraham staring at the night sky, hearing that such will be your seed, we too stare bewildered at such a task, unable to discern the wheat from the tares, or even to find where all the elect reside. God knows. He sees, even as He has numbered and named, and He will not lose one.
As amazing as this is, even such a feat could be done impersonally. Like the draft, a notice could go out, the rosters read, and the names enrolled. God, however, does not operate in that way. As the One who not only stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, He also formed the spirit of man within him, and He knows intimately all the working and ways of the human heart. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” He counts to make sure they are all there, and He heals to make sure they are all well.
Christian, fellow pilgrim in passage to heaven, be assured that you will never be lost, and that you will never be ignored. You are more than a number. He knows your name and He knows your heart. You will not always be broken. He will come and He will heal; He will call you by name and you will come to Him. He who knows the vastness of the universe also knows the vexations of your heart. Take hold of this hope, and weep no more.