Christian, Commitment to God, Devotional, God, Psalms

Enduring By Our Praises

Psalm 22

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

From the very beginning we see this as a messianic prophecy  “My God, My God.  Why hast thou forsaken me?” was spoken word for word on the cross by Jesus (Matt 27:46). Now keep in mind that David had no idea he was going to say these words 1000 years later. He is speaking about himself here.

I don’t have any reference to confirm this but I’m guessing David probably penned these words when he was hiding in the caves from Absalom. It was probably before the time that the men started to join him that would eventually become his army to fight the coming battles.  At this time he probably felt God was a long way away from him. You can see it in his words. I cry in the daytime and you don’t hear me and in the night season I’m not silent. He sees himself as all alone.

I have to admit going through this cancer treatment I have felt that way a few times. I h shed tears and wondered if God is hearing my prayers. I wonder why he’s not taking away the pain or restoring my shoulder or give me a better night’s sleep. But in the end I look upon my situation and I always come back to the fact the God has been very merciful to me. And I end up with tears in my face anyway – tears of joy in what God is going to do. The testimony He is giving me will reach hundreds of people when I am well.. He is such a good God.

Do you ever find yourself in that position? Try to look ahead and know that God will bring you through and start praising him for the victory. He is a good god and He always will be. He loves you with an everlasting love much more than you can imagine. And His mercy and His grace are enough to sustain you through anything you have to go through.

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

As David always does when he laments about something he comes back to praising the Lord. You are holy Lord and you inhabit the praises of Israel. From this many of our churches pick up the fact that he inhabits the praises of his people. Israel were His people then we are His people now. Through the seed of faith Abraham we are spiritual Israel (Gal 3:29)

I have always been a believer that He inhabits the area in which our praises can be heard. If we praise the Lord with soft voices the area in which our praise Is heard is much smaller. But if we shout to the Lord our praises and sing at the top of our lungs we fill the atmosphere with our praises and God’s presence can fill that atmosphere as well. Let’s give our all when we’re praising the Lord. Doesn’t he deserve it?

David says that previous generations have trusted Him and He’s delivered them.  They cried unto Him and they were delivered and they were never confounded. David knows that God has been faithful before, and He will be faithful again.

But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

I am referencing an article from the Urban’s In Mexico on this one. The Hebrew word worm is a very specific worm. It’s one that is dried out and then crushed to extract the red dye from. This word is used 42 times in the Old Testament and only eight times is it translated worm. The rest of the time it is translated Scarlet or crimson. This is very significant as Jesus was crushed by the way of the Romans before he went to the cross and they extracted His Crimson blood with whips and thorns and finally with nails in his hands and feet. He was a reproach of men and the people despised him and called for him to be crucified.

All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

There’s no doubt that people mocked him to scorn. We see the words “He trusted in the Lord that He would deliver Him let Him deliver Him now” almost repeated verbatim in Matthew 27 43 by the people gathered around the cross. It’s amazing that even the people gathered there fulfilled prophecy, not just Jesus.

But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.

10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.

11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

David here affirms that life begins with conception. This is a common theme in the Bible and I don’t see anywhere where God condones taking a child’s life in the womb. I know I’m getting political here but we must protect generations to come. David says I was cast upon thee from the womb Thou art my God from my mother’s belly.  And since you have been my God for that long don’t be far from me now because I need your help.

12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

Some look at the reference to the Bulls of Bashan as a Messianic prophecy. Bashan was an area in Israel that was very lush pastures and bulls that were pastured there grew very strong and very big. They say that this references the Roman soldiers who inflicted great pain on Jesus and made sure that he was securely fastened to the cross. I can see where the reference might fit.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

The reference to all of his joints joints being out of joint is obvious. If you understand at all how the cross works you know that the bones are flexed in very strange positions. The person on the cross has his wrist pierced with nails and then their tied in place. They then have a stand where his feet are fastened.  In order to stand up on his feet he has to push up.

If he allows himself to droop down he’ll suffocate from the pressure on the chest and lungs so he will have to push up with his feet in order to breathe. but he can only push up for so long before he has to let down again. The shoulders come out of joint fairly quickly. If you’ve never had a shoulder injury you have no idea how painful this is. I had a shoulder injury 5 years ago and it was one of the most painful things I’ve ever had to go through while doing physical therapy. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have both shoulders go out of joint and not be able to do anything about it

We know that he was thirsty on the cross as you said I thirst in John 19:28.  Of all things to bring him to drink they bring him vinegar.  I would rather drink anything but vinegar. That was all he had available to him.

16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

We see the reference to the piercing of the hands and the feet. We all know that this references the nails which are used on the cross. The cross was in a public setting and crowds would stare at him and they could see his bones through his flesh. What a gruesome sight. It kind of reminds me of some of the westerns we see where they held public hangings. Why anybody want to go to a public hanging is beyond me. I guess for the spectacle of it all.

In Matthew 27 35 we see the reference to the casting of lots for his garments. How much more specific of a reference can you get than that? It’s amazing to me when prophecy is fulfilled especially something as specific as casting lots for garments.  I’m not sure how often that happened but it definitely happened with Jesus. My understanding is that Jesus did not have an inexpensive garment.  It was one that was especially designed for him out of one piece of cloth so this was a fairly expensive garment they were casting lots for.

19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.

21 Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

David cries out to God do not be far from him because he knows he got his strength from the Lord. David never gives up on God – he keeps crying out to be delivered. Do we ever give up on God? Lately I’ve seen a lot of post written about perseverance and waiting on God and not giving up in our prayer life. We can take a great example from David who kept going back to God over and over and over again asking for deliverance from his enemies, asking God to hear him, asking God for mercy. Let us follow his example in our prayer lives

22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

23 Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

And now David starts to praise the Lord. I get so elated when I see David praising the Lord in the midst of his struggles. Oh that I could be so brave and so much in love with God that even in the midst of the worst situations I will praise Him,  I will glorify Him. He is always worthy of our praise. It doesn’t matter if I’m facing the worst nightmare that I’ve ever faced in my life. It doesn’t matter if I can’t see any way out. It doesn’t matter if I think that God has turned His back totally on me. He is still worthy of my praise. And He always will be. May I never ever forget that

He does not despise the affliction of the afflicted.  He doesn’t hide His face from him. He cares about you more deeply than you care about yourself. The key during these difficult and troubling situations is to get our eyes off of ourselves and set our eyes upon Jesus. There’s an old chorus that says:

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus 

Look full in his wonderful face 

And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim 

In the light of his glory and grace.” 

Sometimes we have to remember that it’s not all about us – it’s about bringing Him glory. That’s why He saved us and that’s why He delivers us.  Give God all the Glory!

25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.

26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lordthat seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

28 For the kingdom is the Lord‘s: and he is the governor among the nations.

29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

I’m going to group all these verses together. David goes on to continue praising the Lord saying that we will be satisfied and if we seek Him with all our heart will live forever. We know from Phil 2:10 that eventually every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.   They will all worship before him as it says in verse 27. That’s because the kingdom is the Lord’s.  He is the governor of all the nations

David says that no one can keep alive his own soul. Only the Lord can save a soul. We must come to him and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior if you want us all to be live for eternity. Otherwise we will die a thousand deaths in the Lake of Fire.

He finishes off by saying they shall come and they shall declare his righteousness. God has done this. God sent Jesus to the cross to be our sacrifice for sin. He paid the price for your salvation once and for all.  There’s nothing you can do to earn it. Your works are meaningless when it comes to your salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace are ye saved through faith. and that not of yourself: it is the gift of God:  not ofwWorks, lest any man should boast.

This prophecy coupled with Isaiah 53 should tell anyone the God had a plan to rescue them from their sins hundreds and even thousands of years before they were even born. The truth of the Gospels is brought out in the Old Testament prophecies over and over again. Some estimate that over 300 prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus at one time or another through his life. The chances of that happening by chance are astronomical. It could only happen by the Messiah. Even the Jews knew that yet they rejected him. Oh how we need not reject him today.

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