Weds 8th April - Psalm 22
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 ‘He trusts in the Lord,’ they say, ‘let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.’
9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.
19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
22 I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honour him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you I will fulfil my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the Lord will praise him – may your hearts live for ever!
27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
and he rules over the nations.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him – those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!
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What a Psalm to meditate on in Easter week.
This Psalm is attributed to David but it is very difficult to pinpoint a particular experience in his life to which he is referring.
You may have seen the poem about the blind men, each asked to describe an elephant by touching and feeling. One thought the side of the elephant was like a wall; one thought the tusk was like a spear; one thought the trunk was like a snake; one thought the leg was like a tree; one thought the ear was like a fan; one thought the tail was like a rope. The poem ends ‘though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong!’
Psalm 22 could fall into this category – was it prophecy; was it liturgy; was it poetry; was it experiential?
And the answer is – (this is where there is an agonising gap of several seconds) – all four! Whilst David was thinking about His own experiences, he is also looking forward to Jesus. This Psalm is often quoted in the NT to make that link.
There are three sections, with each containing pairs of thoughts.
A. The Darkness of the soul - the sufferings of Jesus. vs 1-21
1. vs. 1-5
a. WHY? Forsaken, So far away, Cries of anguish, No answer, No rest.
b. YET… David reminds us as to who God is – Holy One, The focus of praise, To be trusted, Delivered, Cried out to, Saved.
2. vs. 6-11
a. BUT … I am
b. YET …David again turns to God
You brought me out of the womb
I trusted you
You are my God
And he prays to God, asking for protection and help.
3. vs. 12-21
by bulls, lions and dogs
I’ve had it – my body, my heart, everything has gone beyond the point of no return
b. BUT … David reminds himself, and us, where his true confidence lies
You are my strength
We know that for Jesus this prayer wasn’t answered as He prayed, “not my will but yours be done.”
But the Darkness of the soul turns to
B. The Deliverance of praise - vs. 22-29
The focus of praise
vs. 22-23 “I will praise YOU
The reason for praise
The LORD knows, the LORD listens, the LORD helps
The universality of praise
All the ends of the earth
All the families of the nations
Philippians 2:10-11 ‘EVERY knee will bow at the name of Jesus and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to God’s glory. '
Rich and poor alike will kneel before Him.
The Deliverance of praise turns to
C. The Declaration of salvation - vs. 30-31
Here is the challenge to reach out across our communities and across God’s world.
Future generations will be told about the Lord
A people yet unborn will be told ‘He has done it.’
We look back to the Cross in the first part of this Psalm.
We live in the present as we praise Him for all that He has done and is doing.
We look forward to that great and glorious day when we who know Him will ‘be with the Lord forever.’
Prayer: God, please help me as I meditate on the Cross and remind me that there is salvation in no-one else and help me to pray for the spread of the Gospel which brings life and hope.
Thursday 2nd April - Psalm 16
Friday 3rd April - Psalm 17
Saturday 4th April - Psalm 18
Sunday 5th April - Psalm 19
Monday 6th April - Psalm 20
Tuesday 7th April - Psalm 21