Psalms 131-150…The Great Comforter.
One day, Jesus surprised a tax collector named Levi by calling him to be His disciple. Tax collectors were despised as Roman collaborators and dishonest men, so why would Jesus call this man?
Levi left his tax booth behind and followed the Lord. He even threw a party for Jesus, and invited all his friends to celebrate. Of course, his friends were equally disreputable, and the Pharisees criticized Jesus for going into the house and eating with them. Christ’s answer is classic: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:27-32).
This was a reference to the spiritually sick. Jesus imitated His Father, shown as a Healer or Comforter in Psalm 147. This was probably written to commemorate the rebuilding of the Jerusalem walls after Israel’s return from exile (vv. 2, 13-14).
It had broken the nation’s heart to leave the Promised Land and to see the Temple burned. But God had not forgotten His people! With compassion, He had promised that He would one day bring Israel back and restore her (Isa. 51:3).
God’s comforting qualities are found in this psalm in context with many of His other attributes. He is the Creator, all-knowing, all-powerful, and just. He sustains, commands, reveals His Word, and takes pleasure in our faith and in our worship.
For today’s metaphor, the key is verse 3: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (cf. Ps. 34:18). God is like the Good Samaritan in that well-known parable, bandaging the victim and showing him kindness (Luke 10:30-37). He is a shepherd, caring for the needs of His flock (Ezek. 34:16). He’s the “God of all comfort” who enables us to minister healing and comfort to others (2 Cor. 1:3-4).
It is important to remember that the perfection we’ll experience is not on this side of heaven. All things will be made perfect, including our health, but not in this life. Strangely, this teaching (the false teaching that perfect health is included in the atonement) is popular, even though none have ever experienced it.