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Tuesday: A Psalm of Despair — 23 Comments

  1. Reflecting on the cross story helps me to understand the picture of Psalm 22.
    Jesus quoted vs 1 and what is expressed in versus 16-18 was fulfilled on Him.
    The cry and the agony of the cross was answered by 'The Silence of God'.
    But Jesus held on in faith where He testified;
    "Father, into your hands I commit My Spirit" (Luke 23:46).
    When I read into Psalm 22, it has 21 versus of laments 11 versus of praise.
    Fitting to human suffering where we are drowned in a sea of chaos but the rays of Hope still lingers.

    Praise God even when i am not sure...praise His Name.

  2. Well, this may look as though Maurice didn't comment on this post, but take a look at Maurice's comment under Michael Fracker's teaching plan as well as my reply to him.

    Moving comments is complicated, so I'm posting the links here for those folks who see only the lesson posts and comments. You don't want to miss these! (Hint: Includes music video.)

    Besides, Michael Fracker's teaching plans are usually helpful. This way you get to sample one of them.

    • Thanks, Inge, I am like a dog chasing its tail today. I wrote today's comment last night and put it in this morning while I was still half asleep.

    • I prefer the Hallaluah Chorus. Latin is not my language.

      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      The kingdom of this world is become
      the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ,
      and of His Christ;
      And He shall reign for ever and ever,
      King of kings, and Lord of lords.
      King of kings, and Lord of lords.
      King of kings, and Lord of lords,
      and Lord of lords,
      and He shall reign,
      and He shall reign for ever and ever,
      for ever and ever,
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      And He shall reign for ever and ever, for ever and ever.
      King of kings! and Lord of lords!
      King of kings! and Lord of lords!
      And He shall reign for ever and ever,
      King of kings! and Lord of lords!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
      Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

      But let the righteous be glad; Let them rejoice before God; Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.
      Psalms 68:3

  3. It seems important to point out that if we say, "My God, why have You forsaken me?" it is very different than when Jesus on the cross said to the Father, "My God, why have You forsaken Me?" How so?

    (1) Because God the Father really did pour out His holy wrath on God the Son at the Cross. Jesus cried the cry of those perishing in the 2nd death. The Father turned His face from Jesus....so in that sense there was a real "forsakenness". (Even though Jesus was not fully abandoned by the Father.) Jesus wasn't exaggerating the situation based upon His feelings. He was describing an actual, happening event. We haven't experienced this wrath of God against our sin, and by God's grace we won't experience this separation from God! We are spared the 2nd death.

    (2) Because Jesus accepted and foreordained this situation...He knew all that would happen to Him ahead of time (John 18:4). He's quoting Scripture as is His reflex to do, in the horrific pain of a moment ...I'm thinking of how He quoted Scripture and Ps. 91 in the wilderness temptations. He is not asking a real question, I think, but rather rehearsing the truth of Scripture to bolster His own courage. He has set in His heart the joys before Him by going through with this sacrifice (Heb. 12:2)....and He knows it's all going to turn out like Ps. 22:22-24. God has heard and will not despise Him forever. Our earthly trials are nothing compared to Jesus's....though we can expect to take up our own crosses for speaking the truth about Jesus (Jn. 15:20).

    (3) Because Jesus was living His whole life according to a timeline, we see Him making choices in accordance with fulfillments of prophecy (Matt. 5:17-18; Luke 4:21). He was living according to God's "plan of salvation" in a more detailed way than we are called to. Coming to planet Earth right on time according to the 70-Week prophecy of Daniel, being born in Bethlehem, moving to Nazareth, reading His mission statement in the Synagogue and living that mission out, accepting His betrayer as one of the 12 disciples, riding on a colt into Jerusalem, His compliance with His arrest and trial - keeping silent, drinking wine and gall on the cross, praying for His enemies....everything Jesus did was carefully timed by the Godhead, and orchestrated to fulfill all prophecies. Even our BC/AD calendar was based upon Jesus (until the secular world changed it). Our lives have a mission and purpose and we are to prayerfully follow God's timing ....thinking of Queen Esther for example... but we don't have timelines upon us like Jesus did. He was to embody Ps. 22, and He did. Just as He embodied all of our prayers.

    We do have a prophecy to live out too. In William Earnhardt's beautiful post this week, "Beautiful Message in a Book of the Bible I Almost Didn't Read", he points out that the last church of Rev. 3:17,21 - that's us - is to fulfill the prophecy of going from "wretched, poor, blind, miserable and naked (to) one day overcoming just as He (Jesus) overcame". He is helping us. He will never forsake us. Amen.

    • Thank you Esther, for pointing out that Jesus was not merely reciting “My God My God why have You forsaken Me” but was actually tasting the 2nd death for every man. Hebrews 2:9. Psalm 22:1 is actually a prophecy of Jesus tasting the 2nd death for us.

    • This is absolutely true, but don't forget that David would have said these words first. So they were true of his experience also, even though they were prophetic. We certainly won't experience it as Jesus did, but that doesn't mean there can't be personal relevance.

    • To me, if Jesus had tasted "The Second Death" at all, He would have never been raised from it for all who suffer that "Second Death" never come back to live again. Scripture only says that Jesus "suffered death for all man" and also "As man has been appointed to die once and after that the judgment, so Jesus died once for all and will return without sin unto salvation." (My Paraphrase) Hebrews 9:27,28. So to me it is scripturally clear that Jesus died for sin and not for "The so called (Second Death.)

        • Thank you, William Earnhardt, But if we are going to go by Bible and Bible only, there is nothing that clearly says that Jesus died "The Second Death for all," it just very clearly and simply says that He died "Once for all," and also that "He tasted death for all men." And again and also that "He took upon Himself humanity so that He could die for sin." Nothing in these verses even comes close to saying that He died the second death for humanity." Only the Book of Revelation mentions "The Second Death," and goes on to say that only those who are raised in "The first resurrection." are free from the power of "The second death," and that is all. But nowhere is there a clear cut scripture saying that Jesus died that "Second death," at all much less for "All Humanity," either. But that Jesus died "For Sin and for all humanity too," scripture is very clear on this fact, but again not for that He died "The Second Death," and again, for me if He had died the "Second Death," He would not have returned to liv again at all for it is also scripturally clear that those who die that death are dead forever.

          • Thank you Pete but I guess we will just have to agree to disagree as I believe Hebrews 2:9 clearly teaches Jesus dying the second death as I already explained. If you hold that Jesus did not die the second death, keep in mind that Moses was willing to die and eternal death for his people in Exodus 32:32. Are you suggesting that Moses loved the fallen race more than Jesus? Do you believe Moses was willing to go into totally oblivion but Jesus was not? I believe the Bible is quite clear that Jesus died the second death for every man as I have already explained. Whether or not the exact words second death are used or not is not relevant as the exact idea is there. Revelation 15 talks about an entire multitude having the same experience as Moses and the Lamb. I believe that experience Moses and the Lamb both had are both were willing to die the second death. In Revelation 15 we will see that an entire multitude will be devoid of self preservation as they behold the love of Jesus. The great controversy is about whether or not God is love. If Jesus had any sense of self preservation He would not have been love. The sense of self preservation comes from Lucifer. When Moses was on the mountain he experienced God which is love which is what made him lose all sense of self preservation when he offered to be blotted from the book of life to safe others. How could Moses be anymore loving than God? If Jesus had any sense of self preservation He would not have been love and Lucifer's claims would be true. The entire Bible is clear that Jesus died the death fo the wicked not the death of the righteous. As you said the book of Revelation tells us the death fo the wicked is the second death. God is love.

          • Pete, what is the "wages of sin"? Is it merely the sleep of death? That doesn't even make sense, because Moses and Job who were very close to God and trusted Him to save them slept in death. But Moses was resurrected and is now alive again while Job still sleeps till the resurrection at Christ's coming.

            If the wages of sin is merely sleep, than what is the difference between the wicked and the righteous??

            No, the wages of sin is the eternal death, and Revelation calls it the Second Death.

            So, if Jesus did not experience the Second Death in our stead, you are toast. And so am I! It's just as simple as that.

            But I thank Jesus that He was willing to "taste"/experience the death that I deserve (Heb. 2:9) so that I may experience the eternal life that only He deserves.

    • I believe that Jesus lived His life according to the daily instruction He received from His Father, just as we may do. The prophetic time line was not prescriptive - in that that's what He was *supposed* to do, but *descriptive* - in describing what God saw happening in the future, without causing it to happen. (I mention this because some appear to believe that God's omniscience means that He pre-ordains what will happen, rather than seeing what will happen, because He is not constrained by time.)

      I understand that when He hung on the cross, He could not see past death's door any more than we can. Thus He needed to place His faith in the Father, just as we must. In that way, He was able to overcome His despair and end His life with the settled conviction that "It is finished" - that He had fulfilled the plan laid before the foundation of the world.

  4. How can we learn to see beyond our immediate trials and, thus, trust in God’s goodness, whatever we face now?

    Psalms 46 is one of my favorite, it is my default setting in times of troubles. When I find myself dealing with emotions Psalms 46 help me to handle it. It makes me understand that God is in complete control even when we are complete out of control. Psalms 46 is a communion of songs of confidence and trust in God. The community of of faith are lifting up their voice letting everybody around them know that "God is their refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble"

    Psalms 46 was written by the sons of Korah. Some of us know what happened to Korah and his friends. Korah and his friends rebels against Moses. Numbers 16:32 tells us God opened the eart and the earth swallowed Korah and his friends, and their houses.

    Now as time passes we find the sons of Korah writings songs in the Temple. When I grew up I was told what happened to my grandparents. I should think the sons of Korah were told what happened to their father but we find them declaring that the Lord is their refuge. I ask myself what can stop me from worshiping God. There are lots of other Psalms that blesses me but 46 keep me on my knees because of the historical background of this family. T

    Listen how the Psalm open. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." From the beginning they say God, even if so. Thing else happens but they've put God first. I love that. I love those three descriptions of God. God is our refuge. What is a refuge? Refuge is a place to run for safety. A refuge in biblical days would have been a thick-walled city that when under attack, you could run to for security. The ultimate security is found in the Lord.

    God is our refuge and strength. Those moments where we seem so small and we are so weak, and we are unable to solve the difficulty we're facing, we know where strength is to be found. God is our strength and He enables us to face and deal with things that we could not deal with without Him.

    And then the third thing. He's a very present help in trouble. He's not just a help somewhere to be found. He's a present help. Now this means this. When we pray, it's not like the siren going off at the firehouse and the firemen jump down the pole, they quickly get dressed, they turn on their siren and they roar to wherever the difficulty is. This Psalm is saying, when we pray, we pray to one who's already present, already active, already involved.

    What a glorious picture of who God is. Where this little meditation on God ends is a reminder, wherever God's people are, God is in the midst of them. He never sends you into any circumstance without going with you.

    In Psalm 22 David's says My why have you forsake me it shows that God was his refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. At times it it looks like his not there. What we can take is that the the doctrine of Providence as articulated in Romans 8:28. I must thank God not for the pain but the purpose of the pain because when his done cooking whatever it is that his cooking it's gonna work for my good.

  5. I strongly feel this week's lesson is directly talking/ministering to Me Yesterday's and Today. I am passing through a very difficult phase of my life health wise. Battling with a sickness I was diagnosed with last year April and still on. Have been trusting and believing God for a healing. Have prayed and still praying, have fasted, have prayed the Psalmist, have opened up to God one on one and challenged Him, have felt like giving up severally,

    My God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?”


    • Sarah,
      I do not know you or the details of your struggle but my heart is immediately drawn with compassion by your comment. When the curse of this fallen world touches our health it becomes very real and personal. Hold on to your faith in God because He is faithful and nothing can separate you from His love (Rom 8:38) and He cares for you (1Peter 5:7).

      I encourage you to find your faith in God that He is faithful and loves you no matter what. Continue to ask for healing but remember that God is faithful and loves you either way. He has good plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11) but His thoughts and plans may be different then what you think(Isaiah 55:8-9). If so don't let your expectations destroy your faith.

      Please forgive me if in any way this sounds like a reproof as it is not intended to discourage or belittle. I do not want to be like Job's friends...and it is out of my own struggles that I speak. I can be discouraged easily when I do not see God meet my expectations and I need the reminder that God is loving and faithful all the time. Even when I do not understand. I pray for your continued trust and faith in Him as I also pray for myself today. May we all be faithful in remembering that HE IS FAITHFUL!

  6. My Father unfortunately lived the last 8-10 years of his life dealing with physical pain; back pain, fibromyalgia and finally cancer pain. This is one of the poems he wrote during that period.

    Safe In His Arms
    John Williams

    He spoke gently to me in my time of need,
    "Why when I call do you pay me no heed?"
    In the silence of night, it was maybe a dream,
    "Do you not know that I came to redeem?

    I lay down my life to claim you as mine,
    to cleanse you from sin, like gold to refine."
    I pulled up the covers and went back to sleep
    after tossing and turning and counting the sheep.

    I was not yet willing to give Him my life
    even though it seemed to be filled with strife.
    He returned the next night and spoke in my ear,
    "With Me in your life you will not have to fear."

    This time I responded, "How can I be sure?"
    "I gave my life and can do no more
    to prove my love and devotion to you
    but to take you in my arms and carry you through".

    I awoke with a start and jumped out of bed
    with thoughts of heaven fresh in my head.
    Then all of the sudden I dropped to my knees,
    and cried out to Him, ""take me home please!"

    • Thank you Jim for the poem. I love it. I went through a period in my life when I felt that God had abandoned me. I can relate.

  7. By asking for and allowing the Holy Spirit to change our lives, we can be at peace, because we can then see beyond our trials and trust in the goodness of God, come what may. Daily prayer, communion, meditation on God, and search of the scriptures will cultivate the faith that will carry us through life's journey, ever progressing upward in our growth in Christ. We have learned that God made us just, by the blood of the Lamb, paving the way to live by faith alone.
    Isaiah 26:3.
    Hebrews 1:16-17.

    It's like this, we(the just) go to the court room. The jury is given our records. Low and behold there before their eyes is the perfect record of the One who died in our stead. The jury says not guilty, the Judge says not guilty, eternal life is ours. 😃

    One more illistration of how to move beyond our trials.
    There is a fight inside us between two wolves. One of evil: anger, hate, resentment, distrust... the other of Good: love, kindness, forgiving, obedient, honest trustworthy, permotion of peace, turns the other cheek, goes the extra mile, helps others, seeks God, trusts in God, gives reverence and worship to God, puts his/her all in the arms of God(surrenders to God). Which one wins depends on the one you feed.

  8. 1Peter 5:6-8 – ”Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand off God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

    Matt.11:27-29 – verse 28-29 ”Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My joke upon you and learn from ME; for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”

    Why does Jesus encourages us to place all our cares on Him? Because He cares for us. He knows our frailties, how easily we become discouraged. I consider one of the most important lessons to learn from Him is to let go of anxieties, to humble ourselves as we trust Him to work His good will in our life. Do we know the mind of God? No - but He encourages us to love Him with all our heart so we can feel/experience His Love for us!

    Can anyone born again refuse to live their new life aided by the Holy Spirit? Yes! But why would anyone neglect or hesitate to come to the throne of God to pour out their heart’s concerns, knowing from hence all help comes? – Psalm 121:1-2?
    Could His children still think there to be a separation between their heavenly Faather and them? Yes! But why would anyone hesitate to accept and believe that their new life is safely placed in Jesus Christ? He asks us to humble ourselves and follow Him by faith!

    Why does our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ admonish us to come to Him when weary and burdened? Because it is that we find rest/protection only in Him! God’s adversary seeks to devoure those weakened by anxieties, not fully trusting God’s Will and Way! Mark 9:23-25.

  9. If Jesus had died the second death then there couldn't have been a resurrection. Jesus tasted death for all humanity. The second death is not for everyone, its for the unrepentant sinners where God is destroying sin. Jesus died and rose again to give us hope of a resurrection when we die (our first death)


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