In the assembly I will praise you. Psalm 22:22
At the pastor’s invitation at the end of the church service, Latriece made her way to the front. When she was invited to greet the congregation, no one was prepared for the weighty and wonderful words she spoke. She had relocated from Kentucky where in December 2021 devastating tornadoes had taken the lives of seven of her family members. “I can still smile because God’s with me,” she said. Though bruised by trial, her testimony was a powerful encouragement for those facing challenges of their own.
David’s words in Psalm 22 (which point to the sufferings of Jesus) are those of a battered man who felt forsaken by God (v. 1), despised and mocked by others (vv. 6–8), and surrounded by predators (vv. 12–13). He felt weak and drained (vv. 14–18)—but he wasn’t hopeless. “But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me” (v. 19). Your present challenge—though likely not of the same variety as David’s or Latriece’s—is just as real. And the words of verse 24 are just as meaningful: “He has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; . . . but has listened to his cry for help.” And when we experience God’s help, let’s declare His goodness so others can hear of it (v. 22).
What are the benefits of sharing stories of God’s kindness with others? Why is it vital to fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ?
Heavenly Father, I bring my feelings of helplessness to You. Breathe fresh hope into my heart and help me praise Your name.
In this psalm of lament by David (Psalm 22), we find the words Jesus spoke on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (v. 1; Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). Some have believed this psalm serves mainly to predict the suffering of Christ. Others believe it’s David’s experiences in his Old Testament context, but with a fuller meaning because of Jesus’ use of it. According to the ESV Study Bible, it’s good to see the psalm “as providing a lament for the innocent sufferer, and then to see how . . . the Gospels use this to portray Jesus as the innocent sufferer par excellence.” In Matthew 27, we see several parallels to Psalm 22. Matthew 27:35 says that after crucifying Christ, “they divided up his clothes by casting lots” (see Psalm 22:18). Matthew 27:39 and Psalm 22:7 both mention the mocking of passersby who were “shaking their heads.”