“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?” (vs. 1)
Psalm 22 is a Lament. Remember we talked about Laments a few weeks ago when we looked at Psalm 13. Psalm 22 is perhaps the most famous lament because Jesus quotes this Psalm from the cross (Matthew 27:46). It is most appropriate that we come to this Psalm the week our country pauses for a day to remember all those who died in service to our country.
Some scholars say that when Jesus cried out these words from the cross he was doing so in his humanity. A moment where it seemed as if God was far away. A moment of human pain, suffering and anguish. Some scholars say that when Jesus cried out these words it was an act of worship. The Jewish persons gathered would have recognized the Psalm. Much like we do with the Psalter they were accustom to a call and response use of the Psalms for worship. I think it was both a cry of pain in his humanity as well as an act of public worship.
If you read the end of the Psalm, you will come to these words-“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him” (vs. 27). As I shared in our previous devotion about Laments, the Laments offer not only the agony felt in a low moment, but also words of praise. Even without the words that glorify and praise directly, laments, and cries of aloneness and forsakenness and heartache and pain that are directed at God become an act of worship.
I am reminded of Amy Grant’s song “Better than a Hallelujah.” You can watch/listen here-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOHJghBU0XA
In the refrain we hear these words:
We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah.
When we are honest before God about all that we are experiencing and feeling it is worship. God already knows, so there is no point in hiding it. We do not have to offer a joyful song if we are feeling heartache. God rejoices as much when we share our tears with Him as when we share our shouts of joy with Him. Friends, God loves you. God wants to be in relationship with you. Because of God’s great love God desires to share with you in all the moments and emotions of your life. Even when those moments seem to us to be less than glorious and Even those moments where we feel forsaken. Be intentional today to share your life, your feelings, and your moments with your God.