To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
May/June 2016 Issue – The Presence of God, ‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Psalm 22:1-11, 19-31 (NIVUK): “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. ‘He trusts in the Lord,’ they say, ‘let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.’
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. …
(19-31) But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honour him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfil my vows. The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him – may your hearts live for ever!
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations.
All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him – those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!”
Psalm 22 is one of the great Psalms, it starts with that famous line ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ And in Matthew 27:46, we read, “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’).”
Some people believe that Jesus was thinking about this psalm as he was dying on the cross. It’s important to notice that this psalm is not all doom and gloom, it ends with the Lord having dominion over the nations and His righteousness being declared to all – for He has done it! Saved us from the death penalty, due to us because of our many sins.
Selwyn makes the following points in today’s study: “It is time now to explore yet another way in which we can heighten our awareness of God’s presence in our lives: taking the time to cultivate a praising heart. …
It might be helpful if we were to begin by differentiating between the terms praise and thanksgiving. Although thanksgiving is a close relative of praise, the two are quite distinct. We thank God for what He does and we praise Him for who He is.
There is always a reason to be thankful because we have been redeemed through the innocent suffering of Jesus our Lord. And there is always a reason to give praise because God never changes.” His goodness and love and faithfulness and provision – never ceases.
Did you enjoy today’s study? I liked it – more so – because I really love the meaning to be found in Psalm 22.