Psalm 22:1 - My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
I wonder what it was like for King David, writing his song to honor the Lord, and knowing that God was speaking through him. What did he think when God inspired him to write the song we know as Psalm 22? It speaks very clearly of Jesus' suffering and death on the cross. David must have wondered what the Holy Spirit was referring to.
To be sure, David himself had some experience with feeling forsaken. "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest" (Psalm 22:1-2). David could have cried out those words at any time while he was hiding in the wilderness, staying away from King Saul who wanted to kill him.
Or this part: "All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; "He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!" (Psalm 22:7-8) It's a very good description of what happened to David when his son Absalom rebelled against him and David had to leave the capital city. But it fits even better as a description of what people said when Jesus hung on the cross, mocked by the very people he came to save.
But as David continued to write, there could be no confusion about what came next. "For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots" (Psalm 22:16-18). None of that ever happened to David—no piercing, no being stretched out on the cross as a bony skeleton of a man, no gambling for his clothes. That was clearly about Jesus, David's greater Son. Did David tremble when he wrote those words?
I don't know. It's a mystery. But it's a mystery that reveals Jesus' great and everlasting love for all of us for whom he suffered—for David, for you, and for all of us.
THE PRAYER: When I suffer, Lord, be with me and keep hold of me. Amen.
Did you ever pass on a message you didn't understand to someone else?
How does the way you pray change when you are suffering? Give examples, if you are willing.
When have you felt forsaken by God?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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