April 8, 2022

Psalm 22 (HCSB)
From Suffering to Praise
 For the choir director: according to “The Deer of the Dawn.”  A Davidic psalm. 1 My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from my deliverance and from my words of groaning?  2 My God, I cry by day, but You do not answer, by night, yet I have no rest. 3 But You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted, and You rescued them. 5 They cried to You and were set free; they trusted in You and were not disgraced. 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by people. 7 Everyone who sees me mocks me; they sneer  and shake their heads: 8 “He relies on  the Lord; let Him rescue him; let the Lord  deliver him, since He takes pleasure in him.” 9 You took me from the womb, making me secure while at my mother’s breast. 10 I was given over to You at birth; You have been my God from my mother’s womb. 11 Do not be far from me, because distress is near and there is no one to help. 12 Many bulls surround me; strong ones of Bashan encircle me. 13 They open their mouths against me— lions, mauling and roaring. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are disjointed; my heart is like wax, melting within me. 15 My strength is dried up like baked clay; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You put me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have surrounded me; a gang of evildoers has closed in on me; they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones; people look and stare at me. 18 They divided my garments among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing. 19 But You, Lord, don’t be far away. My strength, come quickly to help me. 20 Deliver my life from the sword, my only life from the power of these dogs. 21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen. 22 I will proclaim Your name to my brothers; I will praise You in the congregation. 23 You who fear Yahweh, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him! All you descendants of Israel, revere Him! 24 For He has not despised or detested the torment of the afflicted. He did not hide His face from him but listened when he cried to Him for help. 25 I will give praise in the great congregation because of You; I will fulfill my vows before those who fear You. 26 The humble will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise Him. May your hearts live forever! 27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord. All the families of the nations will bow down before You, 28 for kingship belongs to the Lord; He rules over the nations. 29 All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down; all those who go down to the dust will kneel before Him— even the one who cannot preserve his life. 30 Their descendants will serve Him; the next generation will be told about the Lord. 31 They will come and tell a people yet to be born about His righteousness— what He has done.

Kim Ivey
 I wonder if King David knew, when he recorded this Psalm, the prophecy that it contained. It’s not hard to imagine David writing these words. He endured some harrowing situations, from being hunted by a madman to having his kingdom stolen by his own son. David clearly felt abandoned by God at the beginning of this Psalm. Why would Jesus quote 22:1, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” I can only think that Jesus felt abandoned by God the Father. He carried the sins of the entire world – for all time! And the physical pain! He had to have felt abandoned. Yet He was also teaching, calling to mind for those in attendance the well-known lament of King David that bore a striking similarity to His own circumstances. Can you imagine the realization and fear on some of the faces in the crowd as understanding dawned? We know that even some of the guards made the connection once everything was complete. Thank God that it doesn’t end here, though! Yes, Jesus died for us, but that’s not all He did. I can’t wait to turn the pages of the gospels and read the next chapters!

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