When God Applies Bandages

In Psalm 147:3-4 we read, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.”

I have to admit, when I read these verses I was astonished. This was a picture of God I hadn’t encountered before. The stark contrast between the two verses astonished me. Think about these verses for a moment with me.

Verse 4 tells us that God determines the number of the stars. There are billions of galaxies spread across the universe and within each of these galaxies there are billions of stars. Each of these stars is blazing with brilliant light and blazing heat. We are tiny and weak compared to a star. And there are billions upon billions of stars.

Yet God knows the exact number of stars, and He gives to each star a name. Ponder this truth. God knows each star individually, and He gives a name to each star. How great is our God! Most studies show that humans can only hold between five and seven things in their mind at one time. God holds all the stars in His mind, and He gives each one a name. Do you feel the greatness of God? When you look at the night sky, do you feel the immensity of God?

But we don’t just serve a great God, we serve a tender God. The Psalmist tells us that God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. God cares about those who are brokenhearted. Our great, infinite, awesome God, cares about our sadness. This is astonishing. The God who keeps the planets in orbit is the one who binds up our wounds. God is infinitely great, and God is infinitely tender.

Let us worship God for his greatness and love him for his tenderness. He is the one who heals our sadness and repairs our broken hearts. Our almighty God is the one who gently binds our wounds. How can we not love such a God? How can we not find all our joy in such a God? Today let us worship our great and tender God.

Originally published January 29, 2008

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I’m married to Jen, and I have three kids. I know a lot about Star Wars, and I live in a van down by the river. I’ve also written a number of books, which people seem to like.


  1. Jennifer Partin says

    I was actually just meditating on that truth today and posted it on my Blog! We lost our 1st born son 2 months shy of his 3rd birthday. Not only does He bind up the brokenhearted but He keeps our tears in His bottle—-The same God who names each of the stars. Amazing!Thanks for pointing us to His greatness!

  2. Stephen Altrogge says

    Jennifer,I'm so sorry to hear about your son. I'm so glad that we have a God who carries us through trials…

  3. Wendy says

    What a comforting reminder! It is overwhelming to think about, but at the same time it gives such hope and brings such peace. Thank you!

  4. says

    Dear Stephen, I was so impressed with this posting that I cut and pasted it onto my blog. I sincerely hope you have no objections to this. If there are any problems please email me and I will remove it immediately. What a wonderful God we serve!

  5. Adam says

    Wow. This also makes me think about how much he must care for each one of us. If he cares enough about each star to name us how much more does he care about each of us, his children? Thanks so much for this awesome reminder!

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