Psalm 22:1-5 – “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? 2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. 3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.”
Psalm 22 might well be my favorite of the Psalms of David. I love the oft quoted Psalm 23 and its promise of God’s abiding presence; however, it is the completion of the prophetic record and words of Christ on the cross in Psalm 22 (often titled “The Psalm of the Cross”) that makes it possible for believer’s to confess with conviction, “The Lord is my Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1).
My focus for today’s devotional is limited to the first five verses of Psalm 22; nevertheless I invite the reader to join me in reading and pondering the entirety of Psalm 22 and realize the words of David are not only a portrait of his sorrow and grief, but are prophetically a testimony of Christ’s suffering on the cross for our sins [take a few minutes and read Psalm 22 before continuing this devotional].
Matthew Henry, the 17th century author and non-conformist preacher writes concerning this psalm that it “is the photograph of our Lord’s saddest hours, the record of His dying words… a description both of the darkness and of the glory of the cross, the sufferings of Christ and the glory which shall follow.”
Psalm 22:1 – My God [Almighty God; my strength], my God, why hast thou forsaken [left; failed; abandon] me? why art thou so far [remote; distant] from helping [saving; delivering] me, and from the words of my roaring [moaning; cries; distress]?
Psalm 22:1 are the words spoken by Christ as He hung on the cross suspended between heaven and earth, bearing the curse and penalty of our sins. Notice the word “forsaken”– literally abandoned, deserted, alone… Cursed by the Jews, mocked by soldiers, betrayed by His disciple and forsaken by His Heavenly Father; crucified, suffering the wrath of God and bearing the agony of the gulf between Him and His Father because of our sin. Forsaken!
Psalm 22:2 – “O my God [Supreme God; the Godhead], I cry [call out] in the daytime [daily; by day], but thou hearest [answer; respond] not; and in the night season, and am not silent [still; quiet].”
Psalm 22:3 – “But thou art holy [completely pure and clean], O thou that inhabitest [dwells; sits; abides] the praises of Israel.”
Psalm 22:3 records David’s confession of God’s character in the midst of his sorrows. “Thou art holy”— whatever sorrows and loneliness the king must bear, he is confident of this, God is altogether holy! The character of sinful man drives him to cheat, lie, betray and deceive. Not so with the God of Israel for He is worthy of praise and the trust of His people (22:4).
Psalm 22:4-5 – “Our fathers [chiefs; families] trusted [confident; secure; relied] in thee: they trusted [confident; secure; relied], and thou didst deliver [save; secured] them.
5 They cried [assembled and called out] unto thee, and were delivered [preserved]: they trusted [confident; secure; relied] in thee, and were not confounded [ashamed; disappointed].”
Whatever his circumstances, David was confident God was faithful and trustworthy in the past and would prove the same in his hour of need.
My friend, we have seen in today’s study the prophetic words of Christ and His suffering on the cross for our sins. You would do well to confess, “He Died for Me”. Paul reflected the same when he wrote, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Child of God, if you find yourself in the midst of sorrows, loneliness and discouragement—don’t lose hope! God is holy, His motives are pure and loving on your behalf (Romans 8:28-29) and you can trust Him! Heaven may be silent for the moment, but God hears and answers prayer in His time.
Have a blessed day!
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith