Psalm 22: My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Psalm 22: My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but You do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest.

Yet You are enthroned as the Holy One;
    You are the One Israel praises.
In You our ancestors put their trust;
    they trusted and You delivered them.
To You they cried out and were saved;
    in You they trusted and were not put to shame.

But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
    “let the Lord rescue him.
Let Him deliver him,
    since He delights in him.”

The first verse of Psalm 22 should give us pause. First, it is the exasperated plea of a holy man, King David, who’s been viciously mocked and persecuted. Secondly (and most incredibly), this verse famously echoes the words of our Lord, Jesus Christ, Who, also Holy (yet sinless), mocked and persecuted, had cried out from the cross: “Eloi, Eloi, lema savachthani?” (My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?Mark 15:34). Approximately one thousand years before Christ stepped onto the scene, King David foreshadowed his Lord with the same (and most) anguished cry in all human history.

In the opening stanza, David expresses his feelings of abandonment by God. He feels that God doesn’t care about his suffering and isn’t answering his prayers (v 1-2). How many of us can relate to this feeling? An eerily familiar feeling for all God’s people throughout history at one point or another. But pay close attention to what David does in verses 3-5 amidst great frustration. He praises God. Despite his anguish he exclaims: ‘Yet You are [still] enthroned as the Holy One; In You our ancestors put their trust; they trusted You and You delivered them. To You they cried out and they were saved.’ In spite of feelings of abandonment, unwavering opposition, and waning faith, David clings to the hope of who God is. Deep in his soul, the king knows that the real King will soon rescue him — and He did.

No matter what you’re going through today, praise God. Do as King David did and remind yourself of who God is, what He’s done in the past, and what He’s capable of. Sometimes God wants to see our faith; He’ll test our faith under pressure. Pass your test by praising Him just as much in the low valley as you do on the mountain top. The Lord delights in rescuing those who delight and trust in Him. Surrender it all in faith and prepare for victory!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for Your promise to never forsake us. Thank You for promising to rescue us from our despair. When we are under pressure, give us the strength to persevere; use our trials to increase our faith. Teach us to surrender it all for Your greater glory. In You we place all our trust. It is in Your good and Holy Name we pray. Amen.”

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