"Praise the Lord! 
For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure." 
 Psalm 147:1-5

Because the people had rejected God and had turned away from His Word they were exiled out of Jerusalem and out of all the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Psalm 147 is a song the people sang in the days of Nehemiah. They rejoiced and were in awe of their God who brought the nation back to the Promised Land and to Jerusalem. God did not just bring them back but built them up again as seen in the story of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, in spite of many enemies and obstacles. God did it! So the people rejoiced with a great celebration and praised Him who did this wonder. They realized their own sinfulness and rejection of God in their past. They realized they were here because of God’s great love and power:

they were here, in the Land again,
they were here, in Jerusalem again,
they were here, with their God again.

Let’s read now from Luke similar words Jesus spoke to the people of God at a much later time than the days of Nehemiah.

"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." 

And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, "Is not this Joseph's son?"

And he said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, 'Physician, heal yourself.' What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well."

And he said, "Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."

When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away.Luke 4:16-30

At Capernaum, Jesus healed the sick, the lame walked, and the blind could see. Here in Nazareth Jesus knew they did not believe in Him; they wanted signs and miracles, not Him. His first words were favorable, but then Jesus went on to tell them about two individuals. God performed signs and miracles for Zarephath the Sidonian and Naaman the Syrian but no one from Israel. The dark hearts of those in Nazareth were then revealed in their fury and murderous intent because no signs or miracles were going to happen for them.

So what is health and what is it to be healed? Let’s say we were in great health plus all our wants were fulfilled. Would that be health? What is the healing that God the Father brings to His people? These verses from Hebrews might help us understand a little better what being healed and having health looks like.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy…" Hebrews 12:1-16

So what is health and what is it to be healed? To endure our Father’s caring discipline, so we will lay aside the weight of sin that is clinging to us so closely, that we may see God and share in His holiness. Through our Father’s discipline, we are being healed to not only walk, but run with endurance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. 

So like those in Nehemiah’s time, we are aware of our past sins and failures and even our present ones. And yet, we realize we are here because of our God’s great love and power:

we are here, saved into His Kingdom,
we are here, with brethren loved by Him,
we are here, with our God.

So it is good that we lift up our hands and stand strong and walk straight by His grace, with His peace, and in His holiness. We are in awe of our God who brought us to this place where He is. Therefore, let us…

"Praise the Lord! 
For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure." 
 Psalm 147:1-5

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