Sunday, March 4, 2012
Psalm 22 begins with a description of such suffering and pain. This suffering has many shadows of the suffering of Jesus – from the words he used on the Cross “ My God my God why have you forsaken me”, to being mocked and insulted, V 7 to the having ones clothing divided among others v18. At this time of Lent it is startling to see the parallels. Suffering is such a strong and common theme in the bible, suffering of the Jews in Egypt, suffering of David in this psalm, the suffering of Joseph, through to the ultimate suffering of Jesus.
But our reading starts with declaring “your name” and “praise the Lord”. Yes this is David’s way through suffering. Turning to the Lord, revering him, honouring and fearing him and because “ he (the Lord) has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one”, we must not run away from our suffering. God accepts us, loves and comforts us in the place of suffering. Jesus didn’t’ run away from his suffering. Yes he asked if that cup may be taken from him but he continued in the Father's will. But with praise and honour and awe we are to bring our suffering before the Lord. He will not turn us away and He, as the psalms goes on to describe does have all power.
Sometimes our suffering seems to go on for so long – so long in Egypt, so long in prison, so long in the desert and yet God “ has done it” V31.Our deliverance, our promised land has already been “delivered”. It is us who cannot grasp it. Perhaps we have not learnt what we need to learn, perhaps we are not in God’s will. However staying in God's presence is the way through.
The final verses of the psalm alludes to the future and of course to Jesus who experienced the ultimate suffering to deliver us from our suffering, from our sins into our relationship with HIM. This is such an amazing act of love. For us and for “a people yet unborn” “HE HAS DONE IT”
Prayer: All praise is to you our Lord. In times of suffering we turn to you. Deliver us through your love.