TODAY’S READING: PSALM 21-29
Psalms of victory (21), shame (25), innocence (26), devotion (27), hope (28) and glory (29); Psalms regarding the future sufferings (22), shepherding (23) and reign of Jesus Christ (24).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
One of the most comforting characteristics of the Psalms is the unashamed, unrestrained honesty with which each has been written. In Psalm 28:1, David says, “I feel like you’ve abandoned me, God”; in Psalm 25:11, he begs, “God, I know I’ve sinned greatly, but please help me”; and we end our reading with David joyfully declaring the unrivaled power of God’s Word in Psalm 29. It may be hard to believe that this “emotional basket case” is the same man who killed a lion and a bear with his own bare hands; the same man who slew Goliath with one little stone; the same valiant warrior who Israel claimed had killed tens of thousands (I Sam. 18:7). It may be hard to believe until you remember that God doesn’t look on the outward appearance, but on the heart (I Sam. 16:7). The man that God selected to rule Israel wasn’t a man who could put on a fake smile and act like everything is okay. God wanted a man with a heart brave enough to slay giants and tender enough to lead Israel co!
mpassionately because that’s the kind of heart God has (Acts 13:22). David’s mission statement is found in Psalm 27:4, 8. David set his entire life to one goal: the pursuit of God. As a result, David ferociously sought for God in every circumstance of his life. In the depths of depression, David scratched and clawed his way to find the reason for God’s apparent silence; at the peak of joy, he reveled in the glory and strength of his God. Whatever emotional state he was in, David struggled and fought to find God, and as a result, he began to naturally see God everywhere: as a shepherd (Psalm 23), as a light (Psalm 27), as a rock (Psalm 28) and as thunder (Psalm 29:3). Like He said, “Seek and ye shall find” (Luke 11:9).
Turning our attention to Psalm 22, God inspired David to write a song about the sufferings of Jesus Christ one thousand years before it happened. This Psalm cannot be about David, because never did God literally forsake him (vs. 1); never were his bones out of joint (vs. 14); never were his hands and feet pierced (vs. 16); and never were his garments parted and gambled for (vs. 18). Only Jesus Christ fits this description (see Mt. 27:35, 46). In the writing of this Psalm, it’s almost as if God invited David to describe the most horrible kind of suffering and death he could imagine. So David records all that his mind could conjure: betrayal, false accusations, humiliation, torture and abandonment. Then, a millenium later, God turns that nightmare into reality, subjecting His own Son, Jesus Christ, to what David described. In so doing, God forever settled any accusations that He is ignorant of, indifferent to, or absent in our human sufferings for He endured all that the!
human imagination could contrive. Never can we say that God does not understand what we are going through (see Heb. 4:14-16; 2:9-10,14,17, 18).
Because the Psalms are so candid and personal, you can easily find one for any and every circumstance or emotion you encounter. Are you weighed down by the guilt of your past sin? Turn Psalm 25 into a personal prayer. Are you being falsely accused and in need of strength? Try Psalm 26. Need a reminder of God’s goodness and gentleness? Dive into Psalm 23. Whatever the circumstances, remember: God is a big boy, He can handle your ups and downs, your doubts and optimistic declarations. Pour out your heart to Him. Besides, He already knows what you’re thinking, you might as well tell Him.
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
Psalms 22, 23, and 24 provide a prophetic description of the person and work of Jesus Christ. Psalm 22 presents Christ as our suffering Saviour (Matt. 27:46) while Psalm 23 reveals Him as our risen Shepherd (John 10:11) and Psalm 24 makes us witnesses of His future triumphant return as the King of glory (Rev. 19).