Friday, March 29, 2013

Psalm 22 - From Lament to Praise

Hosta blossom
PSALM 22

My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? 
Why are You so far from my deliverance  and from my words of groaning? 
My God, I cry by day, but You do not answer, by night, yet I have no rest. 
But You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 
Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted, and You rescued them. 
They cried to You and were set free; they trusted in You and were not disgraced. 
But I am a worm and not a man,  scorned by men and despised by people. 
Everyone who sees me mocks me; they sneer and shake their heads: 
“He relies on the Lord; let Him rescue him;
let the Lord deliver him, since He takes pleasure in him.” 
You took me from the womb, making me secure while at my mother’s breast. 
I was given over to You at birth;  You have been my God from my mother’s womb. 
Do not be far from me, because distress is near and there is no one to help. 
Many bulls surround me; strong ones of Bashan encircle me. 
They open their mouths against me— lions, mauling and roaring. 
I am poured out like water,  and all my bones are disjointed; 
my heart is like wax, melting within me. 
My strength is dried up like baked clay;  my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. 
You put me into the dust of death. 
For dogs have surrounded me; a gang of evildoers has closed in on me;
they pierced  my hands and my feet. 
I can count all my bones; people look and stare at me. 
They divided my garments among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing. 
But You, Lord, don’t be far away.  My strength, come quickly to help me. 
Deliver my life from the sword,  my only life from the power of these dogs.
Save me from the mouth of the lion!  You have rescued  me from the horns of the wild oxen.
22 I will proclaim Your name to my brothers; I will praise You in the congregation. 
23 You who fear Yahweh, praise Him! 
All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him!
All you descendants of Israel, revere Him! 
24 For He has not despised or detested the torment of the afflicted. 
He did not hide His face from him  but listened when he cried to Him for help. 
25 I will give praise in the great congregation
because of You;  I will fulfill my vows before those who fear You. 
26 The humble will eat and be satisfied;  those who seek the Lord will praise Him.
May your hearts live forever! 
27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord.
All the families of the nations will bow down before You, 
28 for kingship belongs to the Lord; He rules over the nations. 
29 All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down; all those who go down to the dust
will kneel before Him— even the one who cannot preserve his life. 
30 Their descendants will serve Him; the next generation will be told about the Lord. 
31 They will come and tell a people yet to be born about His righteousness—what He has done.
––Psalm 22
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This is the fifth and final day we are looking at Psalm 22.  It is a psalm that could be looked at much longer and still one could find food in its message.  The previous verses we have looked at have been those of a Lament psalm.  Beginning at verse 22 the psalm makes and abrupt change to a psalm of Thanksgiving and Praise:  Psalm 22:22-25 express an individual song of praise, Psalm 22:26-31 express a corporate song of praise. This psalm was written by David and expressed his discomfort over his unjustified suffering.  The words, inspired by God are applicable to all who suffer a similar problem.  Most importantly, the God breathed message,  is a prophetic proclamation of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. 

I will proclaim Your name to my brothers; I will praise You in the congregation. You who fear Yahweh, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor Him! All you descendants of Israel, revere Him! For He has not despised or detested the torment of the afflicted.  He did not hide His face from him but listened when he cried to Him for help.  I will give praise in the great congregation because of You;  I will fulfill my vows before those who fear You.  Psalm 22:22-24  In these verses David states repeatedly "I will," proclaim, praise, fulfill my vows to Yahweh.  I will proclaim, declare to my brothers. For David this was the Israelite community. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, this refers to all believers.

I will proclaim Your name to my brothers; I will praise You in the congregation.  Psalm 22:22 After the resurrection of Jesus, He appeared first to Mary.  Jesus said to her, Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.  John 20:17  Two things are told to Mary that illuminated the effects of the resurrection. 1) Jesus call his disciples - "My brothers." 2) He declared a new relationship to God of His own - He said God was their Father and their God in the same manner that He spoke of God as His Father and His God.  The words of Psalm 22:22 are again reflected in  Hebrews. But we do see Jesus—made lower than the angels for a short time so that by God’s grace He might taste death  for everyone—crowned with glory and honor  because of His suffering in death.  For in bringing many sons to glory, it was entirely appropriate that God—all things exist for Him and through Him—should make the source  of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the One who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father.  That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers,  saying: I will proclaim Your name to My brothers;  I will sing hymns to You in the congregation.  Hebrews 2:9-12  

For He has not despised or detested the torment of the afflicted.  He did not hide His face from him but listened when he cried to Him for help. I will give praise in the great congregation because of You; I will fulfill my vows before those who fear You.  Psalm 22:24-25  David's lament changes to praise and thanksgiving. David's hope in the rescue of God was not misplaced.  David discovers that God has not forsaken him.  God did not hide his face from David. In reality God was near. God answered and saved David. To the believer today these words still ring true. God is near to all of His people. They will be saved. god was not passive during the ordeal of Christ on the cross. He allowed Christ Jesus to bear the sins of mankind alone, but He never allowed Him to be alone.


 Spurgeon writes in The Treasury of David:

Never was man so afflicted as our Saviour in body and soul from friends and foes, by heaven and hell, in life and death; he was the foremost in the ranks of the afflicted, but all those afflictions were sent in love, and not because his Father despised and abhorred him. 'Tis true that justice demanded that Christ should bear the burden which as a substitute he undertook to carry, but Jehovah always loved him, and in love laid that load upon him with a view to his ultimate glory and to the accomplishment of the dearest wish of his heart. Under all his woes our Lord was honourable in the Father's sight, the matchless jewel of Jehovah's heart. "Neither hath he hid his face from him." That is to say, the hiding was but temporary, and was soon removed; it was not final and eternal. "But when he cried unto him, he heard." Jesus was heard in that he feared. He cried in extremis and de profundis, and was speedily answered; he therefore bids his people join him in singing a Gloria in excelsis.
 I will give praise in the great congregation because of You; I will fulfill my vows before those who fear You. David was so joyous over his salvation that he could not hold it in his heart.  He exclaimed it to all the congregation. This is just as we should feel about the resurrection.  As Christians we should be so greatful over our salvation we cannot contain it. We should be so full of joy over our redemption that we cannot help but tell others about it. We should not be afraid to tell others the Gospel.  We should fufill our vows to spread the Gospel. We should also be so full of joy in our worship of Him, that we make a joyful noise when we sing the hymns and choruses. This should be every bit as important to us as study and prayer. Perhaps a song would be a good thing to add to your personal devotions and study.  Why not sing praises to the lord when working in the yard, washing the car, shovelling the snow.  If the neighbors hear you, so much the better.  They may ask you why you sing and that is a perfect time to tell them why. I mentioned a "joyful noise," because it is the expression of the joy that is needed, not the tune.  In my case it is a noise, the neighbors may be prompted to dial 911 thinking I am in pain, rather than as me why I am singing.
 
The humble will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise Him. May your hearts live forever!   Psalm 22:26-28  Those who belong to the Lord should be humble. We should be humbled by all that Christ has done for us. God will provide all that we need and we will be satisfied. May your hearts live forever! Jesus said - I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live  forever.  John 6:51

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord. All the families of the nations will bow down before You, for kingship belongs to the Lord; He rules over the nations. Psalm 22:27-28  David shows that Yahweh is not just God over Israel, but over all the nations. The rule of God’s divine kingship extends beyond Israel.  This is our mission today,  given to us by Jesus.  We are to spread the Gospel to all the world. This was the commission to the original followers and continues to be the task and the privilege of the Church today. The entire world is our mission field, the Gospel is for the Jews and all the gentiles too.  The Lord reigns, He is the King.  He has set up a kingdom of grace and redemption.  He will reign and all will kneel before Him.  His kingdom come.  For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6  Through the sacrifice of the Son of God, and his resurrection the promise of God to Abraham that He would bless all nations through his descendants is fulfilled. Genesis 12:3  . 

All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down; all those who go down to the dust will kneel before Him— even the one who cannot preserve his life.  Their descendants will serve Him; the next generation will be told about the Lord. They will come and tell a people yet to be born about His righteousness—what He has done.  Psalm 22:29-31  It makes no difference if you are rich or poor, strong or weak. All will kneel before Him and of His kingdom there will be no end.  We must pass the Gospel on from generation to generation so that all will hear the news.  All nations, all generations must be reminded of the gospel.  It must be told to all the world geographically and throughout time. The message of the crucifixion and the resurrection will never grow old.  God will always save a seed, a remnant, to tell the good news.


We began this journey of psalm 22 in lament and finished it with the Hallelujah chorus.  We are to be filled with the joy of the Lord and all He has done for us.  All will kneel before Him.  Hallelujah, Our God Reigns!

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Crown Him With Many Crowns


Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of love, behold His hands and side,
Those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye at mysteries so bright.

Crown Him the Lord of peace, Whose power a scepter sways
From pole to pole, that wars may cease, and all be prayer and praise.
His reign shall know no end, and round His pierced feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown Him the Lord of years, the Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou has died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity.

Lyrics: Matthew Bridges and Godfrey Thring.   Composer: George Elvey, 1868.



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