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Awestruck

7/3 – Stand in Awe of Him (Psalm 22)

 

Introduction — Here David expresses deep anguish. David feels forsaken by God. David cries out to God for help. He asks why God seems far from him. He asks God to be near him. In all the turmoil, David declares his abiding trust in God, his growing awe of God. And even though he speaks of his own trials, David speaks about the Messiah’s future trials, too.  In detailing his own pain, David also gives a vivid description of Jesus’ pain on the cross. On the cross, Jesus Himself cries out, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” On the cross, Jesus sees people sneer at Him, shaking their heads at Him, taunting Him with sarcastic shouts for God to deliver Him. On the cross, Jesus’ blood pours out. His strength dries up. He thirsts. On the cross, a band of evildoers surround Him. They pierce His hands and feet. They divide His garments, casting lots for His clothing.  On the cross, Jesus trusts the Father. And in his current pain, David trusts God. David knows that God is not far off. He knows that God will hasten to help. And because he trusts the Lord, David will tell his brothers about this glorious name. He praises God and implores the gathered assembly to praise God as well. He urges them to stand in awe of Him. How about us? Do we see the mighty works of Jesus on the cross? Do we marvel at His faithful love? Do we tremble in wonder before Him? Do we stand in awe of God?

 

Clearly, this is a psalm about David’s trials and victories which point to the greater trials and victories of Jesus Christ. We see that Jesus is the suffering servant. He is the righteous king. He is Lord. And we will trust Him. We will seek Him. We will praise Him. We will tell about Him. We will bow before Him. We will stand in awe of Him.

 

You who fear the Lord, praise Him; all you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel. (23)

We stand in awe of His trust. (1-18)

Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. (3)

Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts. (9)

 

Comments: Here David pours out his raw, honest laments before God. David’s pain is real. He’s hurting. He feels like God left him alone. And he wonders why. In quick order David asks God (1) why He abandoned him, (2) why He remains distant from him, and (3) why He ignores his cries for help. But in midst of his questions, David declares his abiding trust in God. David trusts God because he knows God. “Yet You are holy,” David exclaims. “Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb,” David affirms. Indeed, David trusts God. And his trust anticipates Jesus’ perfect trust in the Father during those agonizing hours on the cross. Questions: What agonizing trial are you facing? Is your focus on God or your trial? Do you trust Him? Do you cry out to Him? Do you find comfort and encouragement in Christ? Do you stand in awe of His trust? Illustration: He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth; when He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He was suffering, He did not threaten but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly. ~ 1 Peter 2:22-23 Application:  As David brought to mind the Lord’s wondrous character, you can recall the Lord’s greatness. You may want to spend time each day this week reflecting on one of God’s attributes. For example, David here declares that God is holy. What does that mean? How do you respond? Will you stand in awe of Him?

 

We stand in awe of His rescue. (19-24)

Save me from the lion’s mouth; from the horns of the wild oxen You answer me. (21)

I will tell of Your name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You. (22)

Comments: Here David continues his lament to God. Still, in his pain, David asks the Lord to remain close to him: Be not far from me, for trouble is near. But You, Lord, be not far off. David asks the Lord to give him strength. David pleads for the Lord to deliver him. And then it happens. The Lord rescues David. The Lord rescues David from his afflictions, from his enemies, and even from death. No wonder David stands in awe of the Lord. No wonder David wants to tell his brothers about the Lord’s great name. No wonder David praises the Lord and encourages everyone around him to do the same. Through an extreme physical and emotional onslaught, David continued to seek the Lord. David still talked with the Lord. David went on trusting in the Lord. And now he enjoys rescue from the Lord. Questions: Does current pain blind you? Does self-pity bind you? Do you see the mighty hand of God at work around you? Do you tell about the Father’s rescue through His Son, Jesus Christ? Do you praise God, even in the storm? Do you stand in awe of His rescue? Illustration: For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. ~ Colossians 1:13-14 Application:  As David enjoyed God’s rescue through intentional worship, you can plan to worship God regularly this week. Your being here today is a super start. Now, make an appointment (or many) to spend uninterrupted time with God. When you meet with God, praise Him. Stand in awe of Him.

 

We stand in awe of His worth. (25-31)

For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations. (28)
They will come and will declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has performed it. (31)

 

Comments: Here David looks to the future with hope. He sees a greater king. He sees the Lord! The Lord will meet the needs of the poor. This king will rule over the nations. This king is righteous. All people will bow down before the Lord. The king’s seed will serve him. Those who seek the Lord will praise him. They will live forever. People from the ends of the earth will turn to the Lord. They will worship the Lord. They will declare His righteousness.  This king will finish the work entrusted to him. This king is worthy. He rules. He reigns. He is righteous. He is the Lord. Questions: Do you see the surpassing worth of our Lord? Do you stand in awe of Him? Do you look to Him with hope? Do you bow before Him? Do you adore Him? Do you declare His worth with your lips and your life? Illustration:  “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” ~ Revelation 5:12 Application: As David placed his hope in the Lord, you can put our hope in the Lord, too. You can express your hope through a renewed heart for worship. Praise the Lord among your brothers and sisters. Tell the people near you what the Lord has done through you and for you. Cry out to Him in your turmoil. Seek Him in your abundance. Give (time, talent, treasure) Him your best. Bow down before Him. Rejoice in Him. Delight in Him. Thank Him. Think about Him often. Turn to Him always. Be satisfied with all He provides. By God’s grace, for God’s glory and for your good, you can stand in awe of Him.

Word Study for Psalm 22

1 groaning (seagah—roaring (like a lion); screaming; guttural cry of anguish; cry of distress)

3 holy (qados—holy; awesome; pure; sacred; clean; consecrated; separate; set apart)

4 delivered (palat—to escape, to be free; to bring out, to save; rescue)

5 trusted (batah—to trust; to be confident; to confide; to set one’s hope; believe in)

6 worm (toleah—worm; maggot; weevil scarlet; scarlet color; crimson material)

6 reproach (herpah—reviling; taunt; disgrace; shame; contempt; slur; insult)

7 sneer (lag—mock; scoff; ridicule; disparage; deride; jeer)

11 far (rahaq—to be distant; to go far away; severed; stand aloof; avoid)

12 surrounded (sabab—go around, encircle; turn as on a hinge)

12 encircle (katar—surround expectantly; surround an enemy; to wait)

14 poured out (sapak—shed; spill; drain, cause to flow; shed blood)

19 assistance (ezrah—help; support; one who serves another with what is needed; supply)

22 tell (sapar—to count; make a written record, make known; quantify; inscribe)

23 awe (gur—to be afraid; revere, have a profound respect and awe for another; sojourn; tarry; dwell)

 

Application for Psalm 22

Let’s cry out to God even when He seems distant.

Let’s remember that we are in God’s hands.

Let’s affirm that we trust God completely.

Let’s ask God to stay close.

Let’s praise God together.
Let’s see the mighty work of Christ on the cross.

Let’s tell about His glorious name.
Let’s stand in awe of Him.

 

Gospel Connections for Psalm 22

On the cross, Jesus Himself cries out, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” On the cross, Jesus sees people sneer at Him, shaking their heads at Him, taunting Him with sarcastic shouts for God to deliver Him. On the cross, Jesus’ blood pours out. His strength dries up. He thirsts. On the cross, a band of evildoers surround Him. They pierce His hands and feet. They divide His garments, casting lots for His clothing.  On the cross, Jesus trusts the Father. On the cross, Jesus dies. On the cross, Jesus hangs lifeless, bones out of joint, heart cold like wax. The enemies who encircled Him disperse. Friends remove His body from the cross. He lies in the dust of death. But three days later He rises from the grave. He lives forever. He rules over the nations. He is the righteous king.

 

Thoughts and Quotes for Psalm 22

He began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life. Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water. Jesus was weary, yet He is our rest. Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King. Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons. Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears. Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world. Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd. Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death. ~ Gregory of Nazianzus, A.D. 381

 

Ahab and aguish lay stretched together in one hammock. ~ Herman Melville, Moby Dick

 

There are ships sailing to many ports, but not a single one goes where life is not painful. ~ Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

 

When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something. ~ Dmitri Shostakovich

And I’ll praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands, for You are who You are not matter where I am. And every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand. You never left my side. And though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm. ~ Bernie Herms and Mark Hall

 

The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts. ~ Alain de Botton

New Testament Connections to Psalm 22

 

David

Jesus

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22:1)

 

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34)

All who see me sneer at me.

(Psalm 22:7)

 

And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him. (Matt. 27:39; Luke 23:35)

“Let Him rescue him.”

(Psalm 22:8)

 

“Let God rescue Him now.”

(Matt. 27:43)

“My tongue cleaves to my jaws.”

(Psalm 22:15)

 

“I am thirsty.”

(John 19:28)

An assembly of evildoers has surrounded me.

(Psalm 22:16)

 

And following Him was a large crowd.

(Luke 23:27)

“They pierced my hands and feet.”

(Psalm 22:16)

 

“See My hands and feet.”

(Luke 24:40)

 

They look, they stare at me.

(Psalm 22:17)

 

And the people stood by, looking on.

(Luke 23:35)

And for my clothing they cast lots.

(Psalm 22:18)

 

And they cast lots.

(Matt. 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:24)

I will tell of Your name to my brethren.

(Psalm 22:22)

 

I will proclaim Your name to My brethren.

(Hebrews 2:12)

When he cried to Him for help, He heard.

(Psalm 22:24)

 

He was heard because of His piety.

(Hebrews 5:7)

 

For the kingdom is the Lord’s.

(Psalm 22:28)

 

He will reign forever and ever.

(Revelation 11:15)

They will come and declare His righteousness.

(Psalm 22:31)

Jesus Christ the righteous

(1 John 2:1)

 

“He has done it.”

(Psalm 22:31)

“It is finished.”

(John 19:30)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further Thoughts and Quotes

An exhausted young mother is said to have dragged herself to the telephone when it rang, listening with relief to the kindly voice on the other end. “How are you, sweetheart? What kind of day are you having?”

“Oh, Mother,” said the woman, “I’m having such a bad day. The baby won’t eat, the washing machine broke down, the house is a mess, we’re having two couples over for dinner tonight and I haven’t had a chance to go shopping yet. And to top it off, I just sprained my ankle.”

The mother was overwhelmed with sympathy. “Oh, honey,” she said, “sit down, relax and just close your eyes. I’ll be over in half an hour. I’ll do the shopping, clean the house and cook your dinner for you. I’ll feed the baby, and I’ll call a repairman to fix the washing machine. Now stop crying. I’ll do everything. In fact, I’ll even call Sean at the office and ask him to come home and help out.”

“Sean?” said the housewife. “Who’s Sean?”

“Why, your husband, of course!”

“You mean Jim, don’t you? You’ll call Jim at the store.”

“Isn’t this Julie?”

“No, it’s Lindy.”

“Oh,” said the caller, “I must have dialed the wrong number. I’m sorry.”

There was a long silence. Then the desperate young homemaker asked, “Does this mean you’re not coming over?”

 

~ retrieved from http://www.homileticsonline.com/ on June 30, 2016

 

 

Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. ~ Corrie ten Boom

 

 

Further Applications for Psalm 22

By God’s grace and for God’s glory . . .

I will trust God in this season of pain and uncertainty.

I will turn to God even when it seems like He’s turned away from me.

I will affirm the majestic holiness of God.

I will ask God to rescue me from this seemingly hopeless moment.

I will tell folks about God’s greatness.

I will praise God for who He is.

I will bow before God.

I will serve God with all my heart.

I will put my hope in God.

I will stand in awe of Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord.