Today’s Bible Reading:
Exodus 2:11-3:22; Matthew 17:10-27; Psalm 22:1-18; Proverbs 5:7-14
My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief. (Psalm 22:1-2)
Do David’s words sound familiar? Perhaps they have been the anguished cry of your heart. These words encourage me to pour out my hurting heart to the God in heaven. It is the cry of one who feels not just abandoned by those around, but also by God Himself. I have cried those words. Many Christians over the ages have cried out those words. Jesus Himself cried them out as He hung on the cross to take away the sins of the world, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” It is not wrong to cry out to God like this. I find it reassuring that these feelings of being abandoned by God are not unique to me or even rare. This life is not always easy, I wrote just yesterday about the need to “take up my cross.” Oh, dear ones, it can be so very, very, hard.
Yet it is important to note that David did not stop there. His anguished led Him to prayer and He begins, even in that first cry, by acknowledging that God is still his God. God is still the faithful one.
Yet You are holy,
O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
In You our fathers trusted;
They trusted and You delivered them.
To You they cried out and were delivered;
In You they trusted and were not disappointed. (Psalm 22:3-5)
David also remembers what God has done for him personally.
Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;
You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts.
Upon You I was cast from birth;
You have been my God from my mother’s womb. (Psalm 22:9-10)
David then turns to God as the only one who can help. He states his case: trouble is near, there is no human help available, he is surrounded by enemies, his own strength is gone, he is facing a horrible death. Seems to pretty clearly describe Jesus’ position when He too cried out the words that begin this Psalm.
There are several allusions to the cross in this Psalm but today I really want my focus to be on how to face the truly hard times that come; just like David did, just like Jesus did. In Psalm 22, David’s cry of anguish eventually turns to praise. But that will have to wait until tomorrow for our reading today stops us at verse 18.