Today I want to look at Psalm 22. This is known as the suffering Messiah psalm, for good reason. Knowing that I say this in the Grace of the Holy Spirit to see it, this song is such an exact description of what happened to Jesus 1,000 years later, so complete in detail, that I find it hard to believe that you cannot come to one of two conclusions. One, either the NT story of Christ is absolutely true and faithful, or two, the entire Bible is one big made up story. Even without the tons of evidence that destroys option two, as for me and my house, we will serve the lord.
But I want to actually subtract the messianic aspect, the prophetic angle, and look at a very powerful application for ourselves. In the first two verses, David is in distress and believes that God has forsaken him. He accuses God of being far away and not hearing.
But while he's not listening, God gives him an answer to this in vv3-5. God is Holy; He cannot be otherwise. He was faithful to David's forefathers, who trusted in him. Therefore, He HAS to be right there with David- but David's so consumed by his miseries, he doesn't notice. Much like I was getting at about myself last week- if you are too busy bitching, you're not busy enough praying.
In vv6-8, he goes through his "I am a worm, and not a man" phase. Everyone is telling David he is a fool for trusting God, because God is "obviously not doing anything for him." And David has begun to believe it.
But God answers again to the uncomprehending David in vv 9-11, which begins, "But You are He who took me out of the womb; You made me trust when I was on my mother's breast." In other words, God is telling David, "I made you"; Like that old saw "God didn't make no junk," David is being told that his very birth and life are proof that he is a man and not a worm; and the hallmark of that manhood is the trust which David has had in Him from birth.
So twice God has actually answered him, and twice he's been too busy whining about it- so things are about to get worse. He is surrounded by spiritual and physical enemies; he has "been delivered into the dust of death". And at this extreme, David finally does what he should have been doing from the start:
Psa 22:19 Do not be so far away, O LORD. Come quickly to help me, O my strength.
Psa 22:20 Rescue my soul from the sword, my life from vicious dogs.
Psa 22:21a Save me from the mouth of the lion and from the horns of wild oxen...
Nowhere before in this poem has he done anything like a prayer. He's complained about God's invisibility, he's cried out about what everyone is saying to and about him. But this time, this time he ASKS FOR HELP.
And what are the results?
Psa 22:21b You have answered me.
Period. Done. The rest of the psalm's 10 verses left describe his praise of God. But not JUST praising God. In vv 22-24 he declares his praise to the people of Israel; in vv 26-28, he takes his declaration of faith to the Gentiles and the ends of the earth. He tells the rich and the poor, the living, the dead, and the generations to come. Get that? He not only tells all those he can, he leaves a legacy for posterity. He sets up that stone that says, "Thus far the Lord has helped us" for the generations to see. Now THAT is praise. And it is what I try to do here as well.
Because I have just as much reason to praise God as David. Just as many sins needing forgiven, just as many enemies (though less of a physical nature) surrounding me, just as many answers that I have ignored and ignored until I finally shut up and opened my ears. AND SO DO YOU. And it all starts when we remember three things:
1- Remember God is right there- and He never left.
2- Remember God made you- and had a good reason to do so.
3- And remember to PRAY. It's like the joke about the blonde who three times came to God about her dwindling finances, begging Him to let her win the lottery so that her problems would be solved.
The third time, God answered. "Help me out. Buy a ticket!"
Our ticket is prayer. Have you bought yours?