Thursday, January 22, 2009

Psalm 22

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Sound familiar? Your mind may go to Jesus on the cross. Those are words he said.

But long before he said them on the cross, the Psalmist penned them, in Psalm 22:1 (along with other words that connect to Jesus' sacrifice):

"All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him, since he delights in him." (Psalm 22:7-8)

"I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing." (Psalm 22:17-18)

"For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help." (Psalm 22:24)

We read this Psalm this morning before the kids took off for school. I read it slowly, quietly.

Then I asked them, "What did you hear?"

One mentioned, "I heard Jesus speaking."

Another said, "I heard sadness and least the part I was thinking about."

Which is an insightful statement. Because those passages are not the very end of the Psalm.

Listen to the way the Psalm ends:

"I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the congregation I will praise you" (22:22)

"The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the LORD will praise him..." (22:26)

"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,
for dominion belongs to the LORD
and he rules over the nations.
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.
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the LORD.
They will proclaim his righteousness
to a people yet unborn - for he has done it!" (22:27-31)

As you read those last verses, you get a reminder that God is in control. (Do you think that our Lord, while he was on the cross, quoting the 1st part of the Psalm, was also looking to the last part of the Psalm? I do!)

At Christmastime we sang, "The wrong shall fail, the right prevail" (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).

May God encourage your heart today through Christ's determined suffering and sacrifice for you.

May the Holy Spirit empower and equip you to be Christ to those around you.

May you be reminded that those who suffer for and with Christ are victorious today!

Grace & peace

No comments: