Read 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.[b]
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.[c]
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[d] 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[e] 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, honor 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[f] I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor 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,
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!
What I am struck about in Psalm 22 is the sovereignty of God in it, the way that God is across all, across everything. The way that David in the Psalm is obviously in deep despair and sorrow, yet he preaches the gospel to himself, as he knows it. The gospel at that time. That even though in sorrow and despair and anguish, God is faithful and he trusts that God will save him. As he did to his ancestors in the past and they weren’t put to shame. As he continues through the Psalm he laments more on his circumstances and prophetically reveals and preaches the gospel to us. He reveals the way that God is going to save the world through the suffering servant (Isaiah 53) through Jesus. I like that, the sovereignty of God here allows the gospel to be proclaimed twice. We have twice the assurance that David did, he preached the gospel himself as he knew it to himself, that God would save him and rescue him from his circumstances. We know and can trust God even more, because we know that the events described here are true. We know Jesus fulfilled them. We know that he came into the world and died as described here. But we know he wasn’t abandoned to the grave, that he rose again and so we know that the end of the Psalm that we won’t be put to shame either. God is preparing a place for us. We will eat and we will be full. So I guess for me the application is certainly tragedy and dark times are in this world and will probably come to all of us at some point with no rhyme or reason. But we can trust that although they feel like they will be endless, that is not actually true, that God has set a time and a date to take all those things out of the world. We know that because God sent his son into the world to achieve that.
By Rob Maxwell (Gospel Community Vision Coordinator)