Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Psalm 22: HELP (Part 2)

We introduced the issue of pain yesterday. What do we do? Cry out for HELP! This is the ongoing theme of this message. David cries out for help. He cries out early and often.

O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent. – Psalm 22.2
By day and by night. And no answer. I don’t get the impression that this is one day and one night. It seems like it is a constant pursuit of God and His rescue and His presence. Jesus commends praying like this in the NT. In Luke 18 he tells a parable of a widow seeking justice from a judge that doesn’t care about justice. He finally gives her what she wants because he’s tired of her constant requests. Jesus is teaching us to be persistent in prayer through this. That lesson applies to crying out for HELP!

God doesn’t expect you to bear the weight of your pain on your own. You may think that proves something to God – or others. But that isn’t what He wants from you. He wants you to cast your cares upon Him. He wants you to ask for help. That’s what David is doing. He’s in pain. God isn’t answering, but he doesn’t quit crying out. Why?

God helps His people. David keeps crying out day and night because God has a track record. He takes care of His people. Always has.

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel. In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. – Psalm 22.3-5
There’s an important aside here. The idea (see ESV = enthroned on the praises of Israel) is that this pain that David is enduring isn’t the result of Israel’s sinning. They did that plenty, but right now they’re in line with who God has called them to be. This isn’t discipline.

Many of you know this, but others may not. Your current crisis is not necessarily a result of your sin. It isn’t because you did something wrong. You might be doing everything right and bad stuff can still happen. I hope that lifts a burden for some of you. The faithful can (and do) suffer.

Now it’s also true that your issue may be due to foolish or sinful choices you’ve made, but it’s also possible that you’ve done everything right and you’re still suffering. We live in a broken world.

The overall point of this section, however, is that God has always taken care of His people. David looks back as a man who knows his history. God has created Israel and has taken care of her – even when she rejects God and sets herself up for ruin.

We can see how God has worked in the history of the church to move the church forward in great ways through historical turning points like world missions and revivals. We see in our congregation how God repeatedly delivers (including Dan Woolley) and is generally changing lives.

We hear how God takes care of those around us – healing them (naturally or supernaturally), restoring marriages, and helping people get back on their feet.

Here’s an exercise for you. Take some time and think about how you’ve seen the work of God in the lives of others. How does that encourage you in your pain?

1 comment:

Jocelyne Sade said...

Frankly, I get a bit crumpled in attitude because I wish God would intervene more in my life. Being in a difficult marriage leaves little room for joy... at least for the last 20 years. You would think I would learn...

God must be trying to teach me something I am having a terrible time learning! Psalm 25:4-5 for me!