Fri Feb 23-Glimpse the Gamut

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Psalm 22 (ASV)

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
[b]Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou answerest not;
And in the night season, [c]and am not silent.
But thou art holy,
O thou that [d]inhabitest the praises of Israel.
Our fathers trusted in thee:
They trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
They cried unto thee, and were delivered:
They trusted in thee, and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised of the people.
All they that see me laugh me to scorn:
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8 [e]Commit thyself unto Jehovah; let him deliver him:
Let him rescue him, seeing he delighteth in him.
But thou art he that took me out of the womb;
Thou didst make me trust when I was upon my mother’s breasts.
10 I was cast upon thee from the womb;
Thou art my God since my mother bare me.
11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near;
For there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have compassed me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
13 They gape upon me with their mouth,
As a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
And all my bones are out of joint:
My heart is like wax;
It is melted within me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd;
And my tongue cleaveth to my jaws;
And thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have compassed me:
A company of evil-doers have enclosed me;
[f]They pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I may count all my bones.
They look and stare upon me;
18 They part my garments among them,
And upon my vesture do they cast lots.
19 But be not thou far off, O Jehovah:
O thou my succor, haste thee to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword,
My [g]darling from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth;
Yea, from the horns of the wild-oxen thou hast answered me.

22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren:
In the midst of the assembly will I praise thee.
23 Ye that fear Jehovah, praise him;
All ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him;
And stand in awe of him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Neither hath he hid his face from him;
But when he cried unto him, he heard.
25 Of thee cometh my praise in the great assembly:
I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied;
They shall praise Jehovah that seek after him:
Let your heart live for ever.
27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto Jehovah;
And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28 For the kingdom is Jehovah’s;
And he is the ruler over the nations.
29 All the fat ones of the earth shall eat and worship:
All they that go down to the dust shall bow before him,
Even he that cannot keep his soul alive.
30 A seed shall serve him;
It shall be [h]told of the Lord unto the next generation.
31 They shall come and shall declare his righteousness
Unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done it.


At first glance, I hadn’t planned to offer this whole psalm for today’s devotional. Yet to read all of it, is to get a glimpse of the incredible gamut that describes all of human emotion.

First, in its opening line, we hear the words of the abandoned and forgotten Jesus that he recited from the cross. Are we not in touch with the same fear that Our God will not remember us in our hour of need?

However, just as the psalmist starts with begging for God not to forget him, the tone turns to recognizing one’s trust in God. The writer knows the same God who has known him since his mother’s womb. Then the psalmist also vacillates from declaring his own shortcomings to trusting in God, and then returning to describing all the colorful possibilities of one’s demise. In times of despair and disaster, isn’t this just the kind of difference that describes the fullness of our human nature? God knows that we vacillate and yet, God wants to hear our cries anyway.

Throughout these verses, we hear the wax and wane of the psalmist’s feelings of despair, the incredible power and the need for God’s rescue, as well as, the praise and thanksgiving for the God of all generations. Finally, we hear the psalmist knowing about God’s steadfast love for the people who are yet to be born! From far away and long since, we know those very human feelings for pleading with Our God to rescue us. We cannot help but be moved. And while we cannot truly understand the totality of Jesus’ pain, through his recitation of Ps22:1, perhaps we share the small sliver of pain that is our own.

by Barbara Carlson

For Pondering & Prayer

How does Psalm 22 affect you? Which part most grabs your attention?

Gracious God, you are the God of all generations, past, present and future. We truly cannot imagine your vastness. You love us so much that even when we falter, you are able to hear our cries of despair and anger. Restore us, Lord. Make us aware of the completeness of your being, now and forever. Amen.

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